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This year, the holiday known as Tu B’Av takes place from sundown Thursday, August 18th to sundown Friday, August 19th. The 15th day of every lunar month brings us the full moon, but on the 15th day in the month of Leo, there is something very special taking place in the cosmos. As the month of Av is the only month governed by the Sun, on this day, there is complete balanced equilibrium between the sun in full dominion and the complete full moon.
The Kabbalists explain that the moon energy represents the physical world (Malchut), the vessel, the feminine energy, and the sun corresponds to the spiritual world (Zeir Anpin), the Light, the masculine energy. The unification of these two energies, which takes place only on this day, reveals the purpose of creation and makes this one of the most positive days of the year. There is an energy of harmony between the sun and moon, Zeir Anpin and Malchut, the Light of the Creator and all of humankind. The Talmud tells us that on this day young maidens would go out into the vineyards to be unified with their mates.
Sometimes I think that because of all the heavy energy that has happened during this period in time, we were given Tu B'Av as a reprieve. Tu B'Av is often compared to Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur the nation that sinned with the Golden Calf was forgiven, and on Tu B'Av the sin of the spies was absolved. There is also a connection as Tu B'Av marked the beginning of the grape harvest and Yom Kippur marked the end.
Kabbalistically, we know that these events are not celebrated as a tradition but rather they reveal to us that something special is taking place in the spiritual dimension, and that is an energy of mercy, or wholeness, of new beginning and of completion. Rav Brandwein, in one of his letters to Rav Berg, teaches us that on this day we are given an opportunity to travel back and forward through our destiny and borrow Light from our perfected and complete selves. For what are young maidens wearing white if not pure whole versions of humanity seeking their mate and connection with the Divine? On this day, we can look at ourselves and each other in a new light.
The way we connect to this energy is to be aware of it and to be in joy. On this day, we break bread and commune with others so that we can have an opportunity to enjoy with one another a period of laughter and song. To the extent that we can let go of the weeks' difficulty that came before, we welcome this new beginning into our hearts, essence and being, for our friends, families, and the whole world. God knows, we all need love, and on this day, more than any other, our vessel can be pure and ready to receive it.