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Jewish Valentine’s Day: Ideas for Singles on Tu B’Av

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The Mishnah says there were no better days for the people of Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur. On these days, the daughters of Israel would go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. They’d borrow white dresses from one another and single men would go there to find a bride. It was often on the full moon – a time of romance, magic and fertility.

The 15th of Av was a matchmaking day then, and it continues to be. In Israel, it’s like a Jewish Valentine’s Day. Some say it’s a great day for a first date, proposals, and marriage ceremonies since it’s all about love and rebirth.

The symbolism of dancing, vineyards, unity and the full moon reminds me of the Shekhina, the Sabbath Bride or Feminine Divine. Although I associate the Shekhina with this imagery, it doesn’t mean that she plays a central role in the 15th of Av (we’d need to ask a rabbi to be sure!). But the Talmud does say, “When a man and a woman are worthy, the Shekinah is among them” (Babylonian Talmud, Sotah 17a), so we could imagine her there, amongst the dancing singles who are worthy and looking for their Beshert (soul mate).

My artist friend Rachel Shana Vine drew these pictures of Shekhina for our children’s book, Shekhina. They might help you to imagine her with you on this day of love:

As a dating coach, I have clients who ask me if there are any fun modern ways to celebrate the power of love on this holiday. So, here are a few ideas:

  1. Women can wear white and plan a singles party (even better if it’s in a vineyard).
  2. Ask someone out on that special day and go apple picking.
  3. Moon-bathe and have a picnic date at night (bonus points for dancing together).
  4. Light candles in honor of the Shekhina. Ask her to guide you to your Beloved. Then dress in white and go out! Maybe there’s a singles event or an event with some new people to attend?
  5. Perhaps arrange a meeting with someone you’ve been corresponding with on JDate? Take that leap of faith!
  6. Or, if you’ve been seriously dating and want to get engaged, what better day to ask!

The full moon is a great time to draw loving energies towards you. Your wishing power is said to be greatest during a full moon – so regardless of whether you are single or dating, it’s a good time to ask for what you want!

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and the author of “Dating from the Inside Out” and “When Mars Women Date.” She has a private practice in Manhattan and does dating coaching by phone. Learn more at Dr.PauletteSherman.com and WhenMarsWomenDate.com.
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