web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Jewish ‘Valentine’s Day’ Finds Ancient Roots in Biblical Shiloh

Tu B'Av

Photo Credit: Miriam Bunimovich/Tazpit News Agency

Over 3,000 years ago, an ancient Jewish holiday was celebrated by the maidens of Israel. Dressed in white, the daughters of Israel would dance in the vineyards where men would choose them as their wives on the Fifteenth of Av, known as Tu B’Av.  Soon-to-be brides would dance in the community of Shiloh in Samaria, the temporary capital of Israel before the first Temple was built in Jerusalem.

The holiday celebrates many happy events that happened during this time in the course of Jewish history, some which were associated with the Temple in Jerusalem.

“Tu B’Av , however, has a much deeper significance than just an Israeli Valentine’s Day,”  according to Tamar Asraf, the spokeswoman of the Binyamin Council.

“In the very beginning, this ancient holiday was more of a local custom than a national one,” Asraf told Tazpit News Agency.  “The holiday gained national significance when members of the Benjamin tribe, who were forbidden to marry outside the tribe following the Pilegesh B’Givah incident and the Civil War that ensued, were once again allowed to marry into the the nation on the fifteenth of Av during the period of Judges.”

“This is a holiday that signifies not only love, but marriage and the continuation of the Jewish home during times of crisis and challenge in the history of our people,” said Asraf.

The Mishnah explains that “there were no holidays so joyous for the Jewish People as the Fifteenth of Av and Yom HaKippurim, for on those days, daughters of Jerusalem would go out dressed in borrowed white clothing…so as not to embarrass those who didn’t have.” Tu B’Av was instituted in the Second Temple period to mark the beginning of the grape harvest which ended on Yom Kippur.

Following the establishment of the modern state of Israel, Tu B’Av was revived as a national holiday celebrated across the country. In the modern day community of Shiloh, located in the Binyamin region, about 30 minutes north of Jerusalem, Tu B’Av’s historical and traditional elements play a central role in celebrations.

For the past four years, the Regional Council and Binyamin Tourism have hosted an annual Tu B’Av “Dancing in the Vineyards Festival” which features Jewish dance and music for women. Live concerts, dance workshops and of course the traditional dancing in the vineyards of Shiloh are some of the main features of the evening set near the remnants of the biblical Shiloh city.

Avital Horesh, the festival’s artistic director said that organizers, who spent months preparing for the event, expect over 1,000 women from all over Israel to attend. “Last year we had 1,000 religious women attend from all sectors in Israel, both religious, non-religious. This year we expect even more—close to 1,500.”

There will be a number of different dance workshops available including hip hop, Oriental dance, and African dance. A concert will be held after featuring well known Israeli singers from religious and non-religious backgrounds.

“The underlying idea of the festival is to bring women together from all parts of Israeli society to celebrate an ancient tradition that brought our nation closer together thousands of years ago. It’s sharing an age-old national message of reconnecting to our roots and traditions–accessible to anyone no matter their religious background,” concludes Asraf.

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Jewish ‘Valentine’s Day’ Finds Ancient Roots in Biblical Shiloh”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A ZAKA team in action.
ZAKA Rescued Body of Abandoned Jewish Soldier Who Died for Ukraine
Latest News Stories

Actor Harrison Ford is in fair condition after crash-landing a private plane on a golf course in Venice, CA, Thursday afternoon.

A ZAKA team in action.

An abandoned Jewish soldier who died for Ukraine was rescued and given a proper Jewish burial by ZAKA. Their story.

PA/PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas addresses Central Committee convention in Ramallah.

The decision could lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. (Nov. 22, 2014.)

The race for nuclear power has begun in the Middle East in response to fears of an Iranian nuclear threat.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Megillah reading, which tells the story of the Jewish festival of Purim, inside the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem on March 05, 2015. The festival of Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews from genocide in ancient Persia.

A hitchhiker pulled out a gun and stopped the attack.

Israel was the sixth-highest source for tourists to Germany in 2014.

Eshed said that a smart meter can run for as long as 10 years if it is equipped with this chipset.

US Amb to South Korea attacked at event in Seoul, slashed face and hand.

On Saturday, the French daily Le Figaro reported on Saturday, citing intelligence sources, that Khamenei would likely live only two more years.

COGAT chief hopes Hamas “would not steal water from civilians as they steal construction materials intended for the reconstruction of houses.”

Israel’s Channel 2 television network thought Herzog’s remarks constituted elections propaganda.

The house, which is made up of simple mortar and stone walls that was cut into a rocky hillside, was first discovered in the 1880s by nuns at the Sisters of Nazareth convent.

Ron Dermer responds to Netanyahu critics following Netanyahu’s speech.

Secy of State John Kerry updates media on the progress made in talks with Iran in Switzerland before leaving for the US; talks resume on March 15.

Researchers at the University of Haifa find that it is better for customer service employees to express positive emotions rather than show neutrality in their work.

More Articles from Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency
Marble relief of Moses by artist Jean de Marco in U.S House of Representatives Chamber at the U.S. Capitol building.

It was probably the first time that the marble relief portrait of Moses hanging in the House Chamber ever received such public acknowledgement.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority Director-General Saul Goldstein at the inauguration of the new Israel Bike Trail's southern segment this week.

The unique desert landscape that covers large parts of Israel allow for its positioning as a leading destination for cyclists, with a comfortable climate year-round and spectacular desert scenery.

Hamas security forces stopped PA Arab writer, Atef Abu Saif, from attending a book fair in Morocco recently where the noted writer and the fiction award finalist had been nominated for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

“I have come here to offer comfort in the midst of your terrible grief,” the president told the family. “Adele touched all of our hearts, and indeed became a symbol.”

“Regretfully our president is the Neville Chamberlain of our day – he doesn’t know how to handle evil,” commented Pittenger, “Netanyahu is Winston Churchill – and the American public deserves to hear his point of view as the prime minister of the country that sits in the heart of it all.”

“Deliveries in ambulances always place us under even greater stress until we hear the first cry of the baby,” said paramedic Aluma Simon….

The Pacific Island nation known as the Marshall Islands will soon have its first water purification vehicle – thanks to the Israel.

“It’s a hard time to be a Danish Jew whether you’re in Denmark or living outside the country,” said Shimon following the deadly attacks in Copenhagen…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/jewish-valentines-day-finds-ancient-roots-in-biblical-shiloh/2012/08/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: