Pirkei Avot, Day 24

Happy Tu B’Av!! Happy what?

Remember Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew Month called Av) where we mourned all the terrible things that have ever happened to us? Well, today is Tu B’Av, the 15th day of the Hebrew Month of Av. And instead of focusing on mourning, we get to focus on love. Yup! Tu B’Av is the Jewish day of love!! And even though many of you have probably never heard of it before, if there is any year to start observing the minor holiday, THIS IS IT!! We need this.

It’s no coincidence that this holiday was placed where it is. Not only is Av one of the most solemn of our months, but then we enter the month of Elul, which calls for deep self reflection. We need a day where we can be light and giddy and just focus on loving and being loved. And this year? I don’t need to tell you how important it is to hold onto days like these.

So a few things and then I’m going to leave you with a message of love just for you.

1) Treat today like a holiday. Focus on making it different than the last 189 days (I lost count) of your life.

2) Surprise your loved ones in any way that reminds them that you love them. (Buy then something, make them a meal, write them a poem..)

3) Call friends and family and wish them a Happy Tu B’Av (then explain what it is). Spread the love.

Okay here’s the message to you:

You. Are. Loved. I’m not just saying this to make you feel good, although that’s an added bonus. I’m telling you this because there is no way for it not to be true. We are all created in the same way. We are all a part of something much bigger than ourselves. We are all created in an aspect of God’s image and each aspect is just as loved. If you close off the love that is being offered to you (from people in your life and the universe), you will of course feel unloved. But if you can begin to believe that you have the capacity to be loved just as much as anyone else, when you open yourself up to it, you too will say that you are loved. And I tell you, almost nothing feels safer than being loved. Open yourself up to all the love.

I love you and Happy Tu B’Av to all of you!!

Rabbi Gabi