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Study and Theory/
Tu B'Av


Kibbutz Midrash for Tu B’Av

Beit Hashita 1957

And it came to pass in the days of Ahab, and the village of Gera in the inheritance of Menashe grew. And there was a man in the village of Gera, Hanan the son of Nathaniel son of Elisheva. And Hanan was a cultural coordinator (tarbutnik) and a big braggart; he organized holidays and celebrations that gained a big reputation. And it came to pass one day when Hanan was sitting under his vine and under his fig tree, he thought to himself and said: The Shavuot holiday has passed, and Succot is the celebration of the harvest. What about the future? Five moons and seven days with neither holiday nor occasion; Stitch, how can this be? So Hanan gathered all the people of Gera before him, and spoke to them as follows: The grape harvest is approaching, the vineyards will be full of joy; let’s go out to the fields and sleep in the vineyards. And Hanan then gathered the culture committee, and they sat over tea and stick pretzels and set the holiday calendar, as follows: the vineyard holiday is celebrated on the 15th of Av, on which the moon is full, thereby saving the use of generators and floodlights. The holiday shall include: 1. Picnic in the village vineyards; 2. Biblical ballet performed by the dance group, led by Pua Bat-Eshkol; 3. Field contests: Running, tug of war, etc.; 4. Surprises; 5. Partner dancing; 6. Free White attire is a must. Duty (by roster) shall be done by couples who have already set up house. When the holiday events became known in the village, the man in charge of the vineyard came to the village elders and burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to them: We once had a vineyard on a fertile hillside etc.; and now, the youth of the village plan to come celebrate and party right in the middle of the harvest. They won’t leave a single bunch unscathed, and then what will I send to Tnuva? And the treasurer, how will he pay the deeds to the Farmer’s Bank? The elder of the village heard, and their heart was softened. So they summoned Hanan and spoke to him and said: We have heard that the holiday you will soon be celebrating is in our vineyard, and now the harvest is not yet over and Muscat, the only family of grapes sold at a good price without subsidies has not yet been picked. How can you perpetrate such villainy in our community? And now, go and postpone this holiday for a whole moon, until the 15th of Av. Hanan tried to appeal, and said: Has this been heard of in Israel? The festival and celebration will be held during the week of the 9th of Av? And the elders replied, and said: Are you to walk among us like an absent-minded professor? Do you not yet know that on this day, in the days of King Ahab, not even the First Temple had been destroyed, and that this would take place only 200 years later? And Hanan listened, and fell silent in shame. And he calculated in his heart the additional budget for buying orange juice and cookies. And it came to pass, with the holiday drawing near and the young girls informed that Hanan forbade them to wear neither scarlet, red, nor purple; nor Yemenite shirts, Boleros nor sarafans, that they became saddened. And they said to each other: How shall I come to the party in the ragged white dress I wear every Shabbat? And G-d gave wisdom to Laban (white), and Shlomit approached Yael and borrowed her dress, and Yael borrowed Hannah’s dress, and Hannah borrowed Pua’s dress, and Pua borrowed Shlomit’s dress and all were happy. And the young men did not pay attention to the dresses, but rather to what was inside them and all were very joyful. And on that day a law was determined for generations: On Tu B’Av thou shall make a festival, go out to the vineyards, rejuvenate your youth and make merry with your young girls!

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