Tu BeAv

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Tu Be'Av is is the fifteenth day of the month of Av. It is a day of celebration commemorating a number of joyous events in Jewish history, and, as a result, we do not recite Tachanun on it or at the Mincha beforehand.

Why is Tu Be'Av a Holiday?

Chazal state that Tu Be'Av is one of the two happiest days of the year.

  1. It was the day when the Jewish people in the desert stopping dying in the plague as a result of the sin of the spies.
  2. It is was the day that the Jewish boys and girls would go out to the field to find a potential spouse to get married.
  3. It was the day that the tribes decided to make peace with Binyamin after they had a brutal civil war and almost wiped them out.[1]
  4. It was the day that the wood that was donated during the summer for the Mizbe'ach in the Bet Hamikdash would be completed.
  5. It was the day on which the Jews were given permission to bury their dead in Beitar after the Romans massacred them and didn't let them bury their dead.[2]

According to the Zohar[3], one must make Simcha on Tu BeAv because of Ilui Shechinah.[4] In fact, Tu BeAv is the day the Jews in the desert merited Hashra'at HaShechinah, from the Simcha generated by realizing the decree was rescinded.[5]

According to the Bnei Yisaschar[6] all the reasons that Chazal give for Tu Be'av revolve around reconciliation and harmony, whether it is between the Jews one to another or between the Jews and Hashem. It is the correction of the sins of Tisha B'av. Also, it is the 28th day from Shiva Asar BTamuz which is the gematria of כח, strength, as we hope that the incomplete names of Hashem which add up to 22[7] and is highlighted on 22nd day from Shiva Asar BTamuz, which is Tisha B'av the day when the Bet Hamikdash was destroyed, is completed and restored on the 28th.

Similarly, the Apter Rav[8] explains that the significance of the circle dance associated with Tu BeAv is that the ultimate dance of the days of Mashiach when the righteous will dance in a circle around Hashem, so to speak. Tu Be'Av refers to the 15th letter (Tu is gematria 15) in the Aleph Bet (Av spells Aleph Bet), which is Samach. The Samach is complete and round. A circle is a symbol of the day upon which the civil war ended and marriages were made because a circle is round without any beginning or end or conflict.

Since the 25 of Elul is the day of the creation of the world, and according to the Arizal, it is the day of the creation of the world in actuality, then 40 days prior is when the thought of its concept was conjured in Hashem's mind, so to speak.[9]

Prayer

  1. Tachanun is omitted on Tu BeAv.[10] and Mincha the day before.[11]
  2. Some Ashkenazim omit "Lamenatzeach" on Tu Be'Av, while others do not.[12]

Fasting

  1. Beit Din cannot initiate a series of fasts on Tu BeAv, but if they began already, one would have to fast on Tu BeAv according to the letter of the law. Nowadays, this does not apply. If they instituted that one should abstain from meat at a certain interval and didn't realize it would coincide with Tu BeAv, one may eat meat if he has a seudat mitzvah on that day. An individual, however, who takes this upon himself, may not eat meat even on a seudat mitzvah.[13]
  2. One who gets married on Tu BeAv may not fast.[14]
  3. Some begin a series of forty days of fasting after Tu BeAv, corresponding to the forty days Moshe Rabbenu was on Har Sinai. Although those forty days begin with Rosh Chodesh Elul, the series is begun earlier due to the days one may not fast, such as Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh. If one wants to space out the fasts even more, he must begin from after Tisha Be'Av.[15]

Nedarim

  1. Even though Tu BeAv is referred to as a "Yom Tov" in the Gemara, one who takes a Neder not to eat meat on any day but Yom Tov may not eat on Tu BeAv.[16]

Torah Learning

  1. As the nights begin to elongate, one should increase his daily Torah learning.[17]
  2. Just as Moshe Rabbenu instituted that one should study the laws of each holiday prior to the holiday, some say one should study the laws of Shemitah from at least Tu BeAv before a Shemita year.[18]

Orlah

  1. Any seeds or saplings planted before Tu BeAv can count the following Rosh HaShana as the completion of the first year of the Orlah count, because it takes two weeks (from Tu BeAv to Rosh Chodesh Elul) for Halacha to recognize its integration into the ground and thirty days (the month of Elul) to count as a whole year. Anything planted after Tu BeAv must count a full year ending on the next Rosh Hashana, not the approaching one.[19]
  2. If one is unsure if the seed was planted before or after Tu BeAv, in Eretz Yisrael, he must be strict and count a full year, but in Chutz LaAretz, he may be lenient and count the forty-four days before Rosh HaShana as the first year.[20]

Shemitta

Tosefet Sheviit

  1. Even though there is no prohibition of Tosefet Sheviit nowadays, planting a fruit tree close to Rosh HaShana of a Shemita year is considered like planting it during Shemita itself or at least a Marit Ayin. Therefore, the Chachamim prohibited one from planting something less than forty-four days before Rosh HaShana of a Shemita year.[21]
  2. One may, however, plant a tree that is already potted in dirt as late as the 29th of Av, as long as the dirt does not come apart when the tree is replanted.[22]
  3. Non-fruit bearing and fragrant trees and the like may be planted as late as Rosh HaShana, but it's best to finish planting them before the 15th of Elul.[23] Others argue against this distinction but admit one who wants to be lenient has what to rely on.[24]
  4. Even one who relies on the Hetter Mechirah may not plant a tree after the 15th of Av.[25]
  5. One may graft a branch onto a tree even as late as Rosh HaShana, but it's best to do so with enough time for it to take root beforehand.[26]
  6. A fruit tree planted in a pot with holes on the bottom before Tu BeAv and placed on the ground before Rosh Chodesh Elul may be planted in the ground until as late as Rosh HaShana.[27]

Working the Land During Shemita

  1. One may not prune Aravah bushes on Tu BeAv of Shemitah for them to grow long in time for Sukkot; however, if it was done, the Aravot may be used.[28]
  2. One who lives in an apartment building and cannot prevent work from being done on the apartments gardens during Shemita should tell the board that he wants his fees to go towards non-gardening expenses. Some say he should declare the garden Hefker in front of three people, and it is advisable to do so before Tu BeAv.[29]

Mourning

  1. One may recite Tzidduk haDin for a great Talmid Chacham on Tu BeAv.[30]
  2. A mourner may be Shaliach Tzibbur on Tu BeAv.[31]

Misc.

  1. Some say that one should begin wishing others a Shana Tovah already from Tu BeAv.[32]

Links

  1. Hilchot Tu Be'Av by Rav Mordechai Eliyahu

Sources

  1. See Shu"t Chayim She'al 1:41
  2. Gemara Tanit 30b
  3. Zohar vol. 2 page 195
  4. Moreh BaEtzbah 8:242, Ben Ish Chai (Shanah Sheniah, Devarim 1)
  5. Mateh Moshe 777
  6. Mamarei Tamuz - Av n. 3 s.v. bpasuk vav, s.v. vtavin, Mamarei Tamuz - Av n. 2 s.v. vheneh ket
  7. Miluy of Miluy.png
    28 Missing.png

    The Vav (6) Key (5) from Hashem's four letter name, the Aleph (1) from Kiseh, His Chair, and the Yud (1) from Yerushalayim are all missing in the Torah until the coming of Mashiach. Together they add up to 22 (6+5+1+10). However, once the Mashiach will come we will again have these letters together with the Vav (6) from Eliyahu, which would make a complete set of 28. 28 is also associated with a complete moon, which is an analogy to the rebirth and restoration of the redemption of Klal Yisrael. Also, 28 is the miluy of the miluy of Hashem's name. See Rabbi Sultan on this topic for more connections.

  8. Bnei Yisaschar Mamarei Tamuz - Av 4:1 quoting Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Mezibush
  9. Bnei Yisaschar Mamamarei Tamuz - Av 4:2. See also Or Gedalyahu Tu Bishvat.
  10. Orchot Chaim 7, Derech HaChaim 38:10, Kesher Gudal 19:17, Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 131:36, 459:26)
  11. Although Shulchan Aruch implies Tachanun is recited, the custom is not so. Mishna Berurah 131:30, Aruch HaShulchan (Orach Chaim 131:2)
  12. Elyah Rabbah 131:14 says one should recite it. Chayei Adam (1:32:34) quotes both views.
  13. Chayei Adam 2-3:132:2. See Elyah Rabbah 580:9
  14. Magen Avraham 573 introduction, Chochmat Adam 129:2, Derech HaChaim 223:2, Aruch HaShulchan (Even HaEzer 61:21), Yechaveh Da'at 1:81 and 4:61, Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 455:18; Sova Semachot I, Chuppah veKiddushin 3:7)
  15. Elya Zuta 581:9, Yosef Ometz (Yospa) Siman 496, Mishna Berurah 568:34
  16. Shu"t Beit Mordechai 1:44
  17. Ta'anit 31a, Bava Batra 121b, Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 246:23), Moreh BaEtzbah 8:242, Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 459:26, Yoreh De'ah 245:30). See Yosef Ometz (Yospe) Siman 495 who reconciles this with the general imperative to get a sufficient amount of sleep regularly.
  18. Ma'amar Mordechai (Eliyahu, Sheviit 1:1)
  19. Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 294:4-5), Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Orlah 3:2)
  20. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Orlah 3:5)
  21. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Sheviit 2:2), Ma'amar Mordechai (Eliyahu, Sheviit 1:3)
  22. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Sheviit 2:2)
  23. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Sheviit 2:3)
  24. Ma'amar Mordechai (Eliyahu, Sheviit 1:3)
  25. Ma'amar Mordechai (Eliyahu, Sheviit 1:5)
  26. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Sheviit 2:4)
  27. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Sheviit 2:11)
  28. Ohr LeTzion (Sheviit 1:19), Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, Sheviit 7:25)
  29. Ma'amar Mordechai (Eliyahu, Sheviit 9:22)
  30. Mishna Berurah 420:4
  31. Mishnah Berurah 671:44, Piskei Teshuvot 683:1
  32. Piskei Teshuvot 581 introduction
( V | T ) The Jewish Holidays Matzah.jpg
Elul/Tishrei
Chodesh Elul - Rosh Hashana - Aseret Yimei Teshuva - Yom Kippur - Sukkot - Shemini Aseret - Simchat Torah
Kislev/Shvat/Adar
Chanukah - Tu BiShevat - Purim - Purim Katan
Nissan/Iyar/Sivan
Pesach - Yom HaAtzmaut - Lag BaOmer - Sefirat HaOmer - Shavuot
Tammuz/Av
Three Weeks - Nine Days - Tisha BeAv - Tu BeAv
Misc.
Yom Tov - Chol HaMoed - Rosh Chodesh - Fast Days