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☞   Tu b’Av

This is an archive of prayers written for, or relevant to, Tu b’Av, the 15th day in the month of Av in the Jewish calendar, the last day for harvesting wood for the sacred fires of the Temple altars, also called the Day of the Breaking of the Axe. In the agricultural cycle, the festival occurs during the annual grape harvest and was a day when women went out in borrowed white clothing to dance in the field and choose spouses from among the men who came to dance with them.

Click here to contribute a prayer you have written for Tu b’Av.

זמר לט״ו באב | Zemer for Tu b’Av, by Avraham ben Ḥalfon (ca. 12th c.)

This 12th century Yemenite liturgical poem for Tu b’Av is based on the Babylonian Talmud Taanit 30b-31a. . . .

ברכת המזון לסעודת טו באב | Birkat Hamazon additions for the Feast of Tu b’Av, by Gabriel Wasserman

Supplemental prayers for the Birkat Hamazon on Tu b’Av by Gabriel Wasserman . . .

ט״ו באב | The Fruit of Tu B’Av: explanation and ritual for the 15th of Av by R’ Jill Hammer

Tu B’Av, the fifteenth of the month of Av, comes in July or August, at a time when the air is sweltering, the sun is ever-present, and the green plant life is wilting. In Israel, Av is a month of extreme heat when nothing grows. It comes just six days after the 9th of Av, Tishah b’Av, the holiday of mourning, when the Temple is destroyed, when the Shekhinah grieves like a widow who has lost her mate. The first of Tammuz, when we recognize our exile and mortality, lingers in the heat of the air. Yet Tu B’Av is a holiday of dancing and choosing lovers, a holiday of life. It is a turning around of time. It is the moment when the fallen fruit breaks open to reveal the new seed. . . .

ט״ו באב | Tu b’Av: sources for study and celebration on the 15th of Av

Since the Jewish calendar is not affixed to the sun, but corrected by a leap year to its seasons, Tu B’Av does not normally fall on the summer solstice. And yet, the relationship between Tu B’Av and the zenith of the summer is alluded to in Rav Menashya’s statement regarding Tu B’Av, “From this day onwards, he who increases [his knowledge through study as the nights grow longer] will have his life prolonged.” . . .