Author: britell

The Jewish Valentine’s Day

Every summer there is a chance for those whose February 14th plans just didn’t work out to redeem themselves: Tu B’av. This minor Jewish holiday taking place on the 15th of the month of Av is a holiday of love and essentially the Jewish Valentine’s Day.

I had never heard of Tu B’av until last year when my boyfriend mentioned it to me, though admittedly we didn’t really celebrate because he was away working at a summer camp. This year however, he and I are in Israel together and I was looking forward to celebrating.

In Jerusalem, there is a “Two B’av” festival on Emek Refaim that he and I were planning to go to together. However as often happens in life, things get in the way. He ended up having to travel to Haifa this week to work and see some family, so I was disappointed that we would not be together, again, on Tu B’av.

Little did I know that he was not planning to let this holiday go unnoticed again. While away, he had been texting my room mate to find out my schedule and when I would be in our apartment. All the way from Haifa, he had roses, chocolates, a teddy bear and a card delivered to me in Jerusalem.

It seems fitting that my first real Tu B’av celebration would take place in Israel, and while my boyfriend and I were not able to be together it was nice to have him with me in spirit.

Next year in Jerusalem… together this time.

Brittany Ritell is a student at Brandeis University currently in Israel for her first time. She participated in Birthright at the start of summer and is now a participant on Onward Israel.