Tu B'Av literally means 15th day of Av. It also is the Day of Love and Zvug.


For those people who are sensitive to metaphysical energies and moods: Friday July 31 2015 is a special day. It is the highest energy day that is not an actual Holiday of any day during the year. The start of the day is at Sundown Thursday July 30th as the Torah (Bible) tells us that it was evening and then morning DAY ONE. We learn from this that a day starts in the evening and thus the spiritual energy changes at Sundown.

The Holiday is called Tu B'AV. It is the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av. It is the strong equivalent of Valentine's Day from the western calendar. This is for the following reasons:

1. The month of AV is controlled by the Sun which represents Male or sharing energy.

2. The 15th day of each Hebrew month is the full moon of that month. Why does the moon cycle from New to Full to New again? The moon represents the energy of receiving which is Female.. Receiving represents desire and desires change. The full moon represents the time when the full male energy is being shared with the full female energy of receiving.

3. This is represented by the Hebrew word Zvug which means sexual intercourse.

That is why this day is so powerful. Use the energy of the day to your benefit. The best way to do that is to share Happiness with someone or everyone. Do an unusual sharing act today. You will find it beneficial to your own happiness.

It will be a happy day throughout the world. Of course not all people will be happy. Mostly because they have never learned about Tu B'AV.

The above is what i wrote in the year 5771 about Tu B'Av. Below is pasted additional information that came from a teacher colleague of mine Rabbi Rachmiel Zoharialev. Here is what he wrote for distribution. It has some of the information above and some additional information.

scarlet

"And scarlet" is the fifteenth day of Av, when the daughters of Yisrael used to go out in garments of scarlet, as it is written: "That were brought up in scarlet" (Eichah 4:5). [Rashi "That were brought up in scarlet: in colored garments].

Zohar in Parshat Terumah

The Holy Zohar in the above selection correlates Tu B'Av--the 15th day of this month of Av, with the color scarlet, a form of red. We Jews have a troublesome history with this color. Not withstanding the popular segulah amongst some to tie $26.00 red strings around their wrist to combat "the Evil Eye."

According to the teachings of Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok of koshertorah.com, this color red represents Gevurah/strength and din/judgment, so much so that we should never according to the Kabbalah wear any red on our bodies nor paint our homes red. The correlation with Tu B'Av is therefore surprising, given that it with Yom HaKippurim, is considered one of the happiest days in the Jewish lifecycle.

chanoch's Comment

Only 6 days before Tu B'Av the Holiday of Tisha B'Av took place. As we will see below Tu B'Av is a day of a miracle relating to the generation of the desert called the Generation of Knowledge. It is through the wisdom of the Kabbalah teaching about consciousness that we have this Macloket (Argument that searches for truth) between the teachings of Rabbi Bar Tzadok (in the paragraph above) and the Teachings of the Kabbalah Center (a few paragraphs above).

The Kabbalah Center teaches that the Red String, when prepared properly, with the consciousness of the Matriach Rachel and the energy of the full moon on the positive months of the Hebrew Calendar and activated with the proper consciousness and tied with 7 knots three above (Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, then changing direction, and three Below Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, then changing direction again, and tying the final knot as Malchut) will act as a protection shield just like the Shield of David for the specific issue of Loshon Harah. Of course it is to be used as a reminder for us to stop saying, hearing, or being involved with Loshon Harah.

The way to reconcile this Machloket is to realize that Rabbi Bar Tzadok is speaking to people about people who learn Kabbalah at the Pshat level while the teachings of the Kabbalah center is for people learning Kabbalah at the Drash and Sod level. The choice is yours.

A Brief History of Red and the Jewish People

Our primordial ancestor Adam was created from the Adamah/earth. Adamah is close to Adomeh/red, for much of the dirt or earth can have a reddish tinge to it. So Adam was the first "Red Man." While there are differing versions of the Creation, we know that the Name Elokim representing Gevurah was part and parcel of the first 32 mentions of a creative force in Genesis. So Adam has a Gevuradik inspiration. And we know how his story ended: based on his desire and his passion, he fell. That desire perhaps too is symbolized by red, the unfortunate color of blood that was spilled when his son Kayin (Cain) out of desirous jealousy killed his brother Hevel (Abel).

We jump to the Patriarch who looked like Adam--Yaakov Avinu, who poured "some of that red stuff" down his twin brother Esav's throat in the sale of the latter's birthright. Esav of course was called Edom/red, because he was born red, and his blessing was to live by the sword, a weapon whose sole purpose is to bring forth more red--more blood.

Fast forward to King David who was given 70 years of life from Adam's life. King David was born red and of a good eye. This showed that David's job was to use his warrior skills to pave the world for his kingship and for the Mashiach, his namesake. The red passion and judgment aspects, on the other hand, prevented him from building the Temple, which was reserved for his son Shlomo, who was from the source of Peace (Shalom), not divisional judgment.

The Holy Torah describes the Parah Adumah/red heifer, whose task was to be used as a tool to mitigate the judgment of disembodied death residue when it was combined with the sweetening waters of kindness. Its blood was sprinkled, and it was burned with cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet stuff--all things red, when it was thrown into the fire--a reddish flame. Rashi notes that the Parah Adumah's job was to take care of the problem of its daughter--the Golden Calf, formed out of passionate desire to have a physical connection to replace Moshe (who was thought to be deceased Chas V'Shalom) physical channel to HaShem. The worshippers only attracted the fire of G-d when they got up in the morning "to sport" passionately. Too, the Gold color according to the Zohar had a reddish tinge to it.

The worship of other entities of course is problematic for Jews. The Heavenly Body Mars called Maadim literally means "red planet" and is associated with Gevurah in many mystical correlations. Its angel is Samkel (Evven HaShoham 175b), its influences are blood, wickedness, strife, external injury, war, hatred, and jealousy (Bareita of Shemuel HaKatan) on the negative side, its vowel is Sh'va related to Gevurah (Shaar Ruah HaKodesh 31 based on Tikkuney HaZohar 70(129b), its day of the week is Monday, a day of judgment. (Sefer Yetzirah 4:9), and its letter is Gimmel for Gamal camel, related to the Angel of Death in the Zohar (See Ot Hi Leolam--Gimmel for 21 Tammuz). Others teach that the letter Hey created the Planet Maadim.

Why Tu B'Av is Importantly Red

The following history is taken from "Practical Judaism" published by Feldheim Publishers.

Six events occurred on Tu B'Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

chanoch's Comment

This is a reminder: Kabbalah teaches that no physical event in history is a cause of anything. It is always the effect. The fact that negative or positive things happen on a given day is not significant to the understanding of the essence of the day. Yet the fact that something physical happened in history on a day does help us to understand the energy of the day. If a day is negative then usually negative events happen on that day. If a day is positive then usually positive events happen that day. Of course, we must realize that as it relates to the Children of Israel our human perceptions do not apply to a win lose scenario or concept. The Temple was destroyed on the 9th of Av by the Romans and Nebuchadnezzar. These other nations appear in the illusion of history appear to be winners while the Children of Israel appear to be losers. Actually both are losers in that the Temple tool for connection to the Creator has been lost. Actually both are winners since the exile produces a process that teaches appreciation for all nations and cultures. Human understanding of winners and losers is a corrupt perception caused by the illusion.

The Mishnah tells us that: "No days were as festive for Israel as the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur." (Tractate Ta'anit) What is Tu B'Av, the 15th of the Hebrew month of Av? In which way is it equivalent to Yom Kippur? Our Sages explain: Yom Kippur symbolizes God's forgiving Israel for the sin of the Golden Calf in the desert, for it was on that day that He finally accepted Moses' plea for forgiveness of the nation, and on that same day Moses came down from the mountain with the new adjusted second set of tablets.

Just as Yom Kippur symbolizes the atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf, Tu B'Av signifies the atonement for the Sin of the Spies, where ten came bearing such negative reports which reduced the entire nation to panic. As a result of that sin, it was decreed by God that the nation would remain in the desert for 40 years, and that no person 20 years or older would be allowed to enter The Land of Israel.

On each Tisha B'Av of those 40 years, those who had reached the age of 60 during that year died -- 15,000 each Tisha B'Av. This plague finally ended on Tu B'Av. Six positive events occurred on Tu B'Av: [within each there is added a short "red" connection].

Event #1 - As noted above, the plague that had accompanied the Jews in the desert for 40 years ended. That last year, the last 15,000 people got ready to die. God, in His mercy, decided not to have that last group die, considering all the troubles they had gone through. Now, when the ninth of Av approached, all the members of the group got ready to die, but nothing happened. They then decided that they might have been wrong about the date, so they waited another day, and another... Finally on the 15th of Av, when the full moon appeared, they realized definitely that the ninth of Av had come and gone, and that they were still alive. Then it was clear to them that God's decree was over, and that He had finally forgiven the people for the sin of the Spies.

This is what was meant by our Sages when they said: "No days were as festive for Israel as the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur," for there is no greater joy than having one's sins forgiven -- on Yom Kippur for the sin of the Golden Calf and on Tu B'Av for the Sin of the Spies. In the Book of Judges, Tu B'Av is referred to as a holiday (Judges 21:19).

The red connection is this: red is the color of the life force given by one's Mother, the reddish blood included. On this day the soul which is in the blood was not taken from the group and the result was passionate happiness.

In addition to this noteworthy event, five other events occurred on Tu B'Av:

Events #2 and #3 - Following the case of the daughters of Zelophochad (see Numbers, chapter 36), daughters who inherited from their father when there were no sons were forbidden to marry someone from a different tribe, so that land would not pass from one tribe to another. Generations later, after the story of the "Concubine of Giv'ah" (see Judges, chapters 19-21), the Children of Israel swore not to allow their daughters to marry anyone from the tribe of Benjamin. This posed a threat of annihilation to the tribe of Benjamin. Each of these prohibitions was lifted on Tu B'Av. (The inheriting daughters were allowed to marry outside of their Tribe and the vow against allowing a daughter to marry into the Tribe of Benjamin are the two prohibitions and the two events.)

The people realized that if they kept to their prohibition, one of the 12 tribes might totally disappear. As to the oath that had been sworn, they pointed out that it only affected the generation that had taken the oath, and not subsequent generations. The same was applied to the prohibition of heiresses marrying outside their own tribe: this rule was applied only to the generation that had conquered and divided up the land under Joshua, but not future generations. This was the first expression of the merging of all the tribes, and was a cause for rejoicing. In the Book of Judges it is referred to as "a festival to the Lord."

Over the generations, this day was described in Tractate Ta'anit as a day devoted to betrothals, so that new Jewish families would emerge. The red of the blood that had been spilled in the civil war with the tribe of Benjamin now was not a barrier to their intermarriage between tribes. Too, heiresses need not marry within their own "blood"--their tribal relatives.

Event #4 - After Jeroboam split off the kingdom of Israel with its ten tribes from the kingdom of Judea, he posted guards along all the roads leading to Jerusalem, to prevent his people from going up to the Holy City for the pilgrimage festivals, for he feared that such pilgrimages might undermine his authority. (Only the King from the Tribe of Judah could sit in the Holy Temple. King Jeroboam feared that when the 10 Tribes went up to Jerusalem they would see his brother King sit while He could not.)

As a "substitute," he set up places of worship which were purely idolatrous, in Dan and Beth-el. Thus the division between the two kingdoms became a fait accompli and lasted for generations. The last king of the kingdom of Israel, Hosea ben Elah, wished to heal the breach, and removed all the guards from the roads leading to Jerusalem, thus allowing his people to make the pilgrimage again. This act took place on Tu B'Av.

All idolatrous worship is a "child" of the Golden Calf, which was the so-called greatest inappropriate service in our history. This Gold is really a reddish based color. On this day the guards preventing our true service were removed and the red was neutralized.

chanoch's Comment

The event in 2006 on the 10th of Av giving the Land of Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinian People was a Tikune of the souls of the soldiers and settlers involved with event no 4. During the period when there were guards on the road there were some Deaths of Jews by Jewish Guards. The Souls involved with the action of giving the Land to the Palestinians corrected these previous deaths and balanced the universe.

Event #5 -At the beginning of the Second Temple period, the Land of Israel lay almost totally waste, and the wood needed to burn the sacrifices and for the eternal flame that had to burn on the altar was almost impossible to obtain. Each year a number of brave people volunteered to bring the wood needed from afar - - a trip which was dangerous in the extreme. Now, not just every wood could be brought. Wood which was wormy was not permitted. And dampness and cold (the weather in the mountains of Judea and Benjamin) are ideal conditions for the breeding of worms in wood. As a result, all the wood that would be needed until the following summer had to be collected before the cold set in. The last day that wood was brought in for storage over the winter months was Tu B'Av, and it was a festive occasion each year when the quota needed was filled by that day. Fire of course has a reddish tinge, and the wood provided the fuel to feed it.

Event #6 - Long after the event, the Romans finally permitted the bodies of those who had been killed in the defense of Betar (in the Bar Kochba revolt) to be buried. This was a double miracle, in that, first, the Romans finally gave permission for the burial, and, second, in spite of the long period of time that had elapsed, [approximately 7 years] the bodies had not decomposed. The permission was granted on Tu B'Av. In gratitude for this double miracle, the fourth and last blessing of the Grace After Meals was added, which thanks God as "He Who is good and does good." "He is good" -- in that the bodies had not decomposed, "and does good" - - in that permission was given for the burial. These slain bodies, bloody and torn, were in the same condition many years later. They were buried in the Adamah/ground, related to Edom, with permission from the Edommite/Romans.

To this day, we celebrate Tu B'Av as a minor festival. We do not say Tahanun on that day, nor are eulogies rendered. By the same token, if a couple are getting married on that day (and, as we will see below, it is the custom for the bride and groom to fast on their wedding day), neither fasts if they marry on Tu B'Av.

Beginning with Tu B'Av, we start preparing ourselves spiritually for the month of Elul, the prologue to the coming Days of Awe. The days begin to get shorter, the nights get longer. The weather, too, helps us to take spiritual stock: the hectic days of the harvest are over for the farmer, and the pace has slowed down considerably. Even on a physical level, the heat of the summer makes it hard to sit down and think things out, and now that the days and nights are cooler, it is easier to examine one's actions.

In earlier times, it was the custom already from Tu B'Av to use as one's greeting, "May your inscription and seal be for good" (ketiva vahatima tova), the same blessing that we today use on Rosh Hashanah. Those who work out the gematria values of different expressions found that phrase adds up to 928 -- and so does the words for "15th of Av" when spelled out.

Love as Fire

In the words of my teacher R. Kalman Worch, if Yom HaKippurim is the wedding where we wear white to unite as one with HaShem at Neilah, and if Elul is the initial letters of Ani LeDodi WeDodi Li/I am for my Beloved, and my Beloved is for me," is the beginning of significant closeness and courtship since the King is in the field for all to come close to him in teshuvah, then Tu B'Av perhaps is dressing for the "first date" in our upward ascension toward soul reunion.

Too, there are some that note that Tu B'Av is 40 days before the creation of the world on 25 Elul [See Sefer Ma'amad Beresheet for 25 Elul], and thus in Heaven this birth is announced.

Passion,

It all depends on passion. Without passion our prayers, our learning, our mitzvot are lifeless, dead, and unfortunately ineffectual. Tu B'Av opens up the Jacob part of the month originally given to Esav. We see this hinted in the permutation of HaShem's Name Hawaya associated with Av: Hey and Waw and Yod and Hey. The first part of the month shows the judgment where the letter Hey governs over the Waw. But after the midpoint, on the 15th day, the Letters Yod and Hey (which total 15) are in order, showing the passionate union between friends who never separate, the Av (father) of Menachem Av and Imma (Mother) which is the Moon prior to the fall and loss of her Light. (Please see chanoch's Comments above about Tu B'AV.)

This passion is described in both the Mishnah and Talmud: "For on those days, the daughters of Jerusalem would go forth dressed in white borrowed garments, so as not to embarrass those who lacked financial support for a new garment, and each garment was first immersed in living waters to cleanse them of any menstrual blood; and the daughters of Jerusalem would then go forth and dance in the vineyards.

And what did they chant? "Young man! Lift up your eyes and observe -- what is it that you are discerning for yourself? Cast not your eyes upon our outer beauty; rather examine our family background...'" (Mishnah, Ta'anit 4:8). Later sages added the following: "Those women who were attractive declared, 'Set your eyes upon our beauty!' Those who were of nobility declared, 'Set your eyes on our family origins!' Those who were not so attractive declared, 'Take us for the sake of heaven, but also adorn us with beautiful garments and ornaments.'" (Talmud, Ta'anit 31a)

Here in Sadie Hawkins' Day fashion--perhaps as aggressively as Scarlett O'Hara, the desire of the woman for union is revealed. It is a fiery passion, for Aish/fire is related to Isha/woman. And this is the kind of burning love we must develop to prepare ourselves for the Days of Awe [Rosh Hashanah is Yom HaDin related to Gevurah/red]. This must be in the language of the Tanya (Chapter 50), a love like [reddish] gold. As gold is superior to silver, there is a love superior to all others (mentioned in Chapters 43-44) a burning desire to leave the body, returning only for the sake of making a MaKom (Place) for HaShem in this world.

Our task on Tu B'Av is to figure out how to channel our passions--which are all really manifestations of our desire to connect with the Eternal--towards returning home, to that place of balance, to the Makom/Omnipresent.

"That love is strong as death [requiring Parah Adumah to nullify death disembodied residue], jealousy is hard as the grave [of those in the desert as well as those buried in Betar], its flashes are flashes of fire [the burning of the Temple wood collected 15 Av], the flame of G-d" {Shir HaShirim 8:6}.

This fiery red passionate love however, must be housed in clean white garments, for we are promised that even though we may be red with sins, through teshuvah we can be whitened as snow. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool " (Yeshayah 1:18). "Purge me of sin with hyssop [red used with Parah Adumah] and I shall be pure, cleanse me and I shall be whiter than snow." (Tehillim 51.10). "Let your garments always be white" (Kohelet 9:8).

Garments of White, Garments of Scarlet

The women in the Tu B'Av narrative in the Mishnah all wore white borrowed garments, showing their purity. The Zohar however says that they all went out in scarlet garments. Which was it? Perhaps we must say BOTH. If the Zohar representing Sod (secret) is the inner lifeblood of the body, the body of the Torah which is also the Oral Law the Talmud, then perhaps the women were wearing inner garments of scarlet for their fiery passion. They also immersed--purified--their external white garments, thus doing teshuvah.

With both, they were ready for union, just as the Community of Yisrael is to join with the Holy One blessed be He. We thus turn to the very, very beginning of the Zohar, the Book of Splendor, which begins its discussion of The Thirteen-Petaled Rose with a quote from the Holy of Holies of scripture--Shir HaShirim:

Rabbi Hizkiyah began by quoting, "As the lily amongst the thorns" (Shir Hashirim 2:2). It is the Community of Yisrael. Because there is a lily; and there is a lily. Just as the lily among the thorns is tinged with red and white, so is the Community of Yisrael affected by the qualities of judgment and mercy. Just as the lily has thirteen petals, so the Community of Yisrael is surrounded by the thirteen attributes of Mercy. Thus, between the first mention of the name Elokim [and the second mention are 13 words]. These words surround and guard the Community of Yisrael.

"My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" (Robert Burns, 1794). Don't read 'My Love" as the object of my love, rather "My Love" as my passion, which is doubly red, doubly passionate. This is the Lehitavlut/passion, LeHavot Aish' like shafts of fire (Tehillim 29:8) that we must develop inside the upcoming days. At the same time, and part and parcel of our return, we must whiten our garments--our deeds, speech, and thoughts--to be able to stand in purity throughout Elul, on Rosh Hashanah, during the 10 Days of Teshuva, and on Yom HaKippurim--the day of cleansing and cleaving to Cosmic Binah.

Both the white and the red are two friends who never separate. The white semen is given from the Father (forming bones, sinews, finger nails and toe nails, the brain, and the white of the eyes), the red seed (skin, flesh, blood and hair) from the Mother. (Zohar and Niddah 31b) And both come together in the two garments--red and white-- on the 15th/ Yod and Hey--Yod from Father, and Hey from Mother, worn by the women in their dancing expression of desire to become one with their Other Half. And thereby growing 7 times (Isaiah).

Here is some additional discussion of Tu B'Av from the Kotzker Rebbe and the ARIzal

קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ "Kedoshim Tihiyu" "Be holy!" is a phrase said frequently from the Torah. Sometimes as a form of Admonishment and sometimes as a motivation to a child.

The Kotzker Rebbe added, “Kodem a mensch —- un nach dem heilig (First be a mensch — then be holy)!”

What does it mean to "Be a mensch!"?

According to tradition, one can begin to greet others with L'Shana Tova (Have a good year) from Tu B'Av (the 15th day of Av).

And now comes the question - why do we begin this greeting from Tu B'Av which is 45 days before Rosh Hashana and not Rosh Chodesh Elul which may seem a more likely time as Elul comes exactly one month before Rosh Hashana and the whole month of Elul is considered preparation for a new year?

According to Chassidut and Kabbalah the fact that Tu B'Av is 45 days before Rosh Hashana is very significant and is connected to the Talmudic debate over which month the world was created in: Tishrei, the month in which Rosh Hashanah, the New Year of years falls, or Nissan, the month in which Pesach falls and which is the New Year of the months (Rosh Hashanah 11a). Both sides make numerous arguments, but the Talmud reaches no definitive conclusion. Rabbeinu Tam (grandson of Rashi), a later commentator, explained the underlying unity of both opinions: the world was created in potential or in thought in Tishrei and in actuality in Nissan.

chanoch's Commentary

It is interesting to note that 45 days prior to Rosh Chodesh Nissan is Tu B'Shevat which is the New Year for the Trees. If we consider that Holiday as the Creation of the Tree of Life it helps to strengthen the arguments associated with Nissan being the month of Creation and that is why all Astrologers call Nissan the first month of the year.

The word for "thought" in Hebrew is machshava. When those letters are permuted the spell choshav-mah*, "to think of mah [the essence of a matter; see attached meditation]" Mah = 45; thus one can read this allegorically as: G-d began to think of creating the world 45 days before Rosh Hashana!!

That day is Tu B'Av.

chanoch adds: Or it is Tu BeShevat?

What this tells us is that we too should already begin the process of thinking about the essence of our lives and how we can be better, stronger, deeper, and ultimately a better servant or son to HaShem.

And how we can become a self-actualized Adam/person, to coincide with the birthday of Adam, on Rosh Hashana. [Rosh Hashanah 27a] No coincidence that 45 is also the gematria of the name Adam, man, or person. We thus have a 45-day program to think about the essence of our lives. In doing so, we recall the famous teaching of Hillel:

ובמקום שאין אנשים, השתדל להיות איש

Uvamakom SheAin Anashim, HashTadal Lihiyot Ish

"In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man."

chanoch adds: In this verse there are two words for man. One is Anashim which comes from the Name Enosh representing the first generation to start to perform idol worship. And the other word is Ish which is cognate to Esh meaning fire. The name Ish is teaching us to be more passionate and fiery.

In short, Be a Mensch! Don't do wrong actions do good deeds. This is a path to becoming Holy.

We have 45 days until Rosh Hashana, the birthday of Adam, to contemplate this directive, to use it as the basis for our teshuvah of our miss-takes against G-d, our miss-takes against others, our miss-takes against ourselves, miss-takes against the ecology.

LaShana Tova!

Much of the Above is written by Rachmiel Chayim Drizin

To the thoughts of Rabbi Drizin i add my own wishes for a Good Year to all. Leshana Tova TikaTeyvu.

Here is a meditation to increase the purity of your thoughts from the ARIzal - The Godly Rabbi Isaac Luria

From the Ari: the word Mach’shava (thought) can be read as Cha’Shav Mah (think of MaH). This means that one should visualize five times the extended expansion of HaShem’s Name Havaya filled with Alefs, called MaH, like so:

יוֹד יוֹד ֵהא יוֹד ֵהא וָאו יוֹד ֵהא וָאו ֵהא

יוֹד יוֹד ֵהא יוֹד ֵהא וָאו יוֹד ֵהא וָאו ֵהא

יוֹד יוֹד ֵהא יוֹד ֵהא וָאו יוֹד ֵהא וָאו ֵהא

יוֹד יוֹד ֵהא יוֹד ֵהא וָאו יוֹד ֵהא וָאו ֵהא

יוֹד יוֹד ֵהא יוֹד ֵהא וָאו יוֹד ֵהא וָאו ֵהא

During the next 45 days, return to this meditation several times daily, to become an Adam, a Mensch.

,

Each line above is the following gematria: 20 + 26 + 39 + 45 = 130.

130 is a sulam or ladder.

130 is 13 x 10 which is Unity in its complete structure of 10 Sefirot.

130 is the gematria of our organ of sight- the eye.

130 is the gematria of the word for "humble person" Anee עני.

130 is the gematria of the Hebrew word Sinai as in the Name Mt Sinai.

chanoch adds:

One of essences of this meditation is to realize that the path to unity starts with the ladder to Sinai (where the Gift of the Torah is potentially received) where we learn that true vision can only be received by the Humble person.

In addition, a student of Kabbalah needs to realize what is the meaning of each number adding up to 130?

20 means Caf which is the Palm which is the map of life.

26 is the gematria of the Name of HaShem.

39 is the gematria of Dew which will lead to Mashiach.

45 is the gematria of Adam representing the unity of male and female.

Zohar Beresheet

מַחֲשָׁבָה חָשַׁ"ב מָ"ה וּבֵיהּ תִּשְׁכַּח שְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא. וּבְגִין יַעֲקֹב דְּאִיהוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, אִתְּמָר וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹקִים אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּדִיּוֹקְנָא דְמָארֵיהּ.

Transliteration: Machashavah ChaShav Mah Uvayah Tishcach Shema Kadisha. Uvgin Yaakov DeEhu Yisrael, Etmar Wayevra Elohim Et HaAdam Betzalmo Bediyokna Demarayah.

Translation: Thought (machshavah) consists of the letters Chashav-Mah (think of Mem-Hey) [Mem-Hey refers to Yud & Hey & Vav & Hey, fully spelled with Aleph יוד הא ואו הא.] in which the Holy Name lies. Because of Jacob, who is called Israel, it is written: "So G-d created man in His own image" (Beresheet 1:27) after the likeness of his Master.

See the above yichud/meditation featuring this Name to purify one's thoughts during this 45-day period.

Tu B'Av, Kabbalah, and the Feminine Perspective by Rebbetzin Chana Sigelbaum

Tu B’av and the Rise of the Feminine

A Secret Holiday for Women Dancing in the Vineyard

Tu b’Av is a day veiled in secret, not much attention has been given to this holiday until recently. When we inaugurated Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin with our first Tu B’Av seminar 17 years ago, no-one had hardly heard about this mystical holiday. Yet, Tu B’Av is mentioned in the Bible. The book of Judges calls Tu B’Av “a yearly feast for HaShem in Shilo when the daughters would go out and dance in the vineyards” (Shoftim 21:18-21). Likewise the Talmudic lengthy discussion of the occurrences on this holiday centers around the theme of women and circular dance. What is the connection between Tu B’Av and feminine dance? As mentioned in Mesechet Ta’anit, the daughters of Jerusalem used to go out on Tu B’Av and dance in the vineyards while young men watched and chose whoever pleased them most. Although, in the secular Israeli pop culture, Tu B’Av is known as ‘the holiday of love,’ such a spectacle would surely seem unacceptable today, according to religious standards of modesty – (tzniut). Yet, according to the Talmud, “There was never days as good for Israel as the fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur when the daughters of Jerusalem would borrow white dresses and go out …” (Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anit 26b). Tu b’Av is the holiday that celebrates the Inner Feminine Lights, it is not accidental that it marks the birthday of Midreshet B’erot Bat Ayin: Holistic Torah for Women on the Land (The Yeshivah of Rebbitzen Seiglebaum). Since its inception our Midrasha has celebrated Tu B’Av with bonfire and dancing in white borrowed dresses in our vineyard.

chanoch's Commentary

There are many questions asked about the various generations born since the development of the "pill" used by women to prevent pregnancy. There are many people within that generation that are deciding to live together instead of Marry under a Chupah. The socialists studies indicate that this is not beneficial to the people involved yet it is not understood why? The Kabbalah does explain this phenomenon. It is too long to go into in this commentary. Yet there is one thing for people to start to think about. The Orthodox Rabbis indicate that it is incorrect to have intercourse prior to marriage. That is why they recommend short engagements. Actually the Torah itself does not say this. It is the Rabbis who say it. Here on Tu B'Av we see the opposite actions implied within the Holiday. There is much to contemplate in this discussion and Commentary.

Marriages on Tu B’Av – Completing Adam

To appreciate the inner sanctity of Tu B’Av we need to tune into its inner dimension. Tu B’Av is exactly 45 days prior to Rosh Hashana when אדם/Adam – the first human being was created. This mystical holiday, therefore, marks the spiritual essence of Adam whose numerical value is 45. The completion of the human being is to be married, just as originally HaShem created the first human being as both male and female (Bereishit 1:27). This fits in with the fact that Tu B’Av occurs exactly 40 days before the first day of the Creation of the World (the 25th of Elul). Our soulmate is declared on high 40 days before conception as Chazal teach, “40 days before the formation of the fetus a heavenly voice comes out and proclaims “the daughter of so and so is created for to so and so”… (Babylonian Talmud, Sota 2a). This is one of the reasons why, marriages traditionally are celebrated on Tu B’Av. From Biblical times, it was established that every year on Tu B’Av the daughters of Israel would go out and dance and whoever did not have a wife would find one then. Therefore, the day that the tribes were permitted to intermarry the first year after conquering the Land of Israel was explicitly on Tu B’Av, likewise, on this day the tribe of Binyamin was permitted to intermarry with the rest of the tribes after this tribe had been ostracized, due to the terrible incident with the concubine in Givah (Shoftim, chapter 19-20), (B’nei Yissaschar, articles on Tammuz, Av, article 4).

Arousal from Below

What is the intrinsic inner connection between Tu B’Av and Yom Kippur? Rabbi Raphael Moshe Luria explains that Tu B’Av begins the season which culminates in Yom Kippur, wherein we prepare the Inner Lights (אור פנימי/ohr penimi). This occurs according to the kabbalistic concept of “Arousal from below” – which we perform by purifying ourselves from every impurity in thought, emotion, and deed. These are “good days for Israel” since there is nothing as good as that which we earn and deserve through our own hard work (Ori v’Yishi, Teshuva u’Tefila page 15). This implies that Tu B’Av marks the beginning of the period of repentance in preparation for the High Holidays – a period where we begin to work harder on ourselves to integrate the insights we have gained the last six month into our character.

The Generation of the Desert versus the Generation Entering the Land

Whereas the holiday of Tu b’Shevat marks the beginning of the masculine season of the “Arousal from Above,” represented by the Generation of the Desert, the winter season beginning with Tu B’Av corresponds to the feminine “Arousal from Below” represented by the generation who entered the Land of Israel. This is the time period when we really integrate all the lights of the summer and build proper vessels for them so we can keep them during the darker months of the winter. The summer season beginning with Tub’Shevat corresponds to the generation of the desert who merited to experience revealed miracles through Surrounding Lights, (אור מקיף/ohr makif). In the wilderness the Divine Lights shone only outside of the vessels, such as by the Clouds of Glory that surrounded them. However, the Lights did not penetrate inside of their inner vessels, since they had not yet purified them, meaning they had not integrated the lessons of Hashem’s miracles into their psyche. Therefore, despite witnessing such great revelations, the generation of the wilderness, repeatedly sinned. In contrast, the generation who entered into the Land, most of which were women, were righteous as it states about them, “They served HaShem all the days of Yehoshua (Joshua) and the elders” (Shoftim 2:7). They also did not require open miracles, for the Divine Lights shone from within their vessels. From the time of Tu B’Av, when the nights grow longer, we too, must build proper vessels by removing negative habits and increasing our Torah learning and mitzvah observance.

Preparing the Inner Vessels

The season of “Arousal from below” begins on Tu B’Av and culminates with the awe of Yom Kippur. Tu B’Av thus leads up to the High Holidays which are called Yamim Noraim in Hebrew, literally ‘The Days of Awe.’ Although ‘Love’ is a greater level than ‘Awe’ we need the attribute of ‘Awe’ in order to prepare the vessels to radiate the Lights from within. The High Holidays is about crowning HaShem to be King over the world and over ourselves through our awe of G-d. We build awe of G-d by taking new mitzvot upon ourselves, by being careful with our actions, for example increasing the level of our tzniut, removing laxness, refining our speech and in general becoming more accurate in how we keep the mitzvot. This purification process builds a dwelling place for the Divine Light, through crowning G-d to become the “King of the whole land.” Only through Awe of G-d is it possible to purify oneself from negative character-traits, which block and prevent the Divine Light from entering inside of us. Therefore, in the book of Devarim, which was directed at the generation who entered the Land, it states, “And now Israel, what does HaShem your G-d ask of you except fear (Awe) of G-d” (Devarim 10:12).

Purifying Intellect, Heart and Liver

There are three levels in this process of purifying our inner vessels, corresponding to the three inner vessels of intellect, heart, and liver. In Hebrew the initials of these three organs: Moach-Brain, Lev- Heart, Caved- Liver, spell out the word מלך/Melech (King). Rosh Hashana is the time for purifying the intellect, as is indicated in the word ראש/Rosh, which means head. During the Ten Days of Repentance we purify our hearts by means of Teshuva (repentance) which includes חרטה /charata – regret, ודוי /vidui – confession and קבלה לעתיד /kabbalah l’atid – accepting in our heart to better ourselves in the future. On Yom Kippur we purify the liver which represents our physicality, by abstaining from the physical including refraining from eating, drinking, wearing leader shoes, marital relations and using oil or creams on our skin.

The Onset of Our Purification Process

The process of preparing for Rosh Hashana by purifying our inner vessels of the intellect begins on Tu B’Av. As tradition prescribes, we need to increase our Torah learning during the nights, which now begin to lengthen. The preparation process of the Ten Days of Repentance when we purify our hearts begins with the month of Elul whose initials are alluded to in the verse “U'mal HaShem Elokeicha et Levavcha v'et Levav zareicha” (“And HaShem will circumcise your heart and the heart of your children”). During this month we increase prayer which is the service of the heart. The custom during the Ten days of Repentance is to rise early and pray long supplications. This completes the purification of the heart and begins the purification of the vessel of the liver, which is completed on Yom Kippur, by fasting. The time from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur is also when we increase good deeds. For bestowing kindness to others purifies our drive for physical pleasures and materialism.

Building Malchut

Preparing the vessels for the Inner Lights is connected with building the sefirah of Malchut – referred to as “the daughters of Jerusalem” and represents the feminine aspect of the Divine, the indwelling presence of the Shechina, in contrast to the masculine aspect of the Divine which is beyond the world, and therefore associated with Surrounding Lights. This is why Tu B’Av has special significance for women. For the woman is the Malchut and the mainstay of her home. The reason why the daughters get dressed up in white dresses on Tu B’Av is to indicate that now begins the period of preparing the vessels and the garments, which must be white and pure, worthy for the Divine dwelling place. The matter of dancing in the vineyards is the circle dance that shows that we are like this circumference and vessel for the Inner Lights, to become a vineyard of G-d. The vineyard also alludes to the Inner Lights, as wine is found inside the grapes. Likewise the Land of Israel is also known to be the aspect of Malchut. Therefore, the women who were devoted to the Land of Israel made up the majority of the generation who entered the Land.

A Home for the Inner Lights

Bringing redemption is not though exterior fanfare and Surrounding Lights of Love, since “Grace is false and beauty is vain, a woman who fears G-d she shall be praised” (Mishlei 31:30). Tu B’Av marks the beginning of the darker winter season when the Divine Lights are manifested and concealed within the vessels, which become as a home for the Light. “All the honor of a King’s daughter is inside.” (Tehillim 45:14). In the merit of the righteous women and with G-d’s help, we will merit the building of the Divine Home and the complete redemption.