Friday, August 03, 2012

All You Need Is Love

The purpose of this email is to provide something warm and fuzzy for dinner table conversation. Please print and share.

Here we are. Deep summer.

All that we NHs (Northern Hemispherites) want to do is relax for a few minutes.

Keep your feet up. I'm not going to spoil the moment.

But I'm going to make a radical proposal, first heard in this space a year ago.

It begins with a story.

At my first summer job as a young adult there was a guy who invited everyone in the office to his "Xmas in July" party.

What made it Xmas-y was that everyone brought a present to give to a random person.

So instead of a bunch of people drinking beer together on a summer afternoon, it was a bunch of people drinking beer and exchanging presents on a summer afternoon.

As I grew older and wiser (after all, I did learn to drink wine instead of beer!) I have learned an ancient piece of Jewish wisdom that for some reason has little cachet, even in the most traditional Jewish families and communities.

It's called "Tu B'Av".

No, not Tu Bishvat.

No, not Tisha B'Av.

Tu B'Av.

"Tu" is the number 15. Av is the month of Av, which corresponds to the constellation Leo, the lion.

Today is the full moon of the lion.

Tu is spelled "tet-vav" which are the first two letters of "tov" (good).

Question for your table? What is needed to turn "tu" into "tov"?

A: The letter "bet", which is...

- the number two, i.e., a relationship
- a house or home (bayit), i.e., harmony

I'm not inventing this. In ancient times, Tu B'Av was celebrated as a day of friendship and love, "the most joyous" holiday (Mishna Ta'anit 4:8).

What happened to it?

Well, you know, destruction, exile, a few holocausts....

But is it time we brought it back? (Some communities have begun, e.g., here.)

You know how many people try to make amends with family, friends and adversaries before Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur?

Why wait until then? The most auspicious time to heal our relationships and this troubled world is today.

Here is my 3-part challenge for you -today....

1. Try to make-nice this Tu B'Av with everyone you know. Hug as needed.

2. Choose a Jewish single over 30 who hasn't yet found Mr. or Mrs. Right and make a commitment to help him or her get married in the next 12 months. Commit to making this goal a priority in your life.

3. Share to this blog with 15 ("TU") people. Let's start a viral campaign to renew Tu B'Av as a day of friendship and love and get a head start on the High Holidays.

"May you be inscribed and sealed for love."

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Version 2.5 of my iphone app came out this week. It fixes a bug that was causing crashes for Swedish and Brazilian users and broken links that affected everyone. What better way to show someone you care than sending them the amazing Jewish app? (Android version:

PPS - Our kids' books site has great school supplies! Browse from the comfort of your home and support JSL while you shop.

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