Tu B’Av – 15th of Av – The Holy Day of Love: Torat HaKabbala and Torat HaRav Kook
We have emerged from Tisha Be’av -the ninth of Av- the day of destruction and from the period of negative history that marks the three week period between Tammuz 17 and Av 9.
Each month of the Israelite calendar has a unique permutation of יהוה-YudHehVavHeh-the four letter Divine Name. Each of the 4 weeks in the month is characterized by a letter of the Divine Name.
The Bnai Issachar explains that Tu BeAv -the 15th of Av is the moment of realignment of the Divine Name after a 6 week period of dissonance.
The permutation of the Divine Name in Tammuz is -הוהי-HehVovHeyYud (the Divine Name backwards). The Av permutation is הויה-HehVavYudHeh-the first half backwards and then it realigns and continues as יה-YudHeh. The Fifteenth of Av is the beginning of the realignment and hence a significant moment in our calendar.
This deep realignment manifested as a time of great celebration.
According to the Mishna, Tu B’Av was a joyous holiday in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, marking the beginning of the grape harvest. Yom Kippur marked the end of the grape harvest.
On both dates, the unmarried girls of Jerusalem dressed in white garments, and went out to dance in the vineyards (Babylonian Talmud, tractate Ta’anit 30b-31a).
And what would they say? “Young man, raise your eyes and see which you select for yourself….”
This was the holy day to meet your love match.
In honor of the holy day of love, I would love to offer Torah of the Rebbe of Love, Rabbi Avraham Itzchak HaCohen Kook TZ’L (1865-1935).
As the spiritual leader of the return to Israel he gave expression to the Torah of Love transforming the the Torah of Yirah-Awe/Fear that characterized the Torah during our long exile from Israel.
From Midot HaRayah-The Moral Principles-
“The heart must be filled with love for all.
The love of all creation comes first, then comes the love for all humankind, and then follows the love for the Jewish people…
All these loves are to be expressed in practical action-to love is to do good to others them and to seek their elevation….
The love for people must be alive in heart and soul, a love for all people and a love for all nations, expressing itself in a desire for their spiritual and material advancement…
The whole Torah, its moral teachings, the commandments, the good deeds and the studies have as their objective to remove the roadblocks, so that universal love should be able to spread, to extend to all realms of life.”
Rav Kook was (and is) the poet of love.
He gives this full expression in his poem
“Shirati Yafati-My Song, My Beauty.”
“My song, my beauty,
Beloved of my youth,
My heart was stirred
In the beauty of your eyes.
You approached to commune
On mountains of fragrance,
And my spirit rose
At the sound of your footsteps.
Without pleasure and light,
You hid from me,
And your footsteps disappeared.
The heart of this lover
Was like a withered leaf,
Choking in agony,
Yearning for a vision of your being.
My soul was mute
From whence your forgot me,
And my songs of life
Were strangled in silence.
Return my beloved
To your abandoned lover,
In the light of your eyes
Illuminate his darkness.
A sleeping spark of God
And my empty heart
Is filled with the spirit of life.
My violin, my beauty,
In spirit I will awaken,
I will speak of the heights
That fill my heart.
I will sing to life,
To the Divine and to humankind,
To the heavens and the stars,
To the fields and meadows.
To every ray of life,
In every hidden corner,
To every spark of courage
Stored in every soul.
Bring me your beauty
After this long separation,
Return to me your joy,
My beauty, my song.”
TuBe Av Sameach-A Joyous Holy Day of Love.