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August 20, 2017

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The Jewish Valentine's Day


No one loves Valentine's Day as much as business owners. The frenzy of heart-shaped balloons, romantic gift cards and bunches of flowers is a reliable income-generator.


But no one loves Valentine's as much as Israeli business-owners. That's because many Israelis celebrate not once, but twice. The regular day along with everyone else, and another day of romance-themed splurging called Tu B'Av which occurs today.


Surprisingly enough, Tu B'Av isn't a modern invention of the Start-Up Nation; it goes back thousands of years. The Talmud tells us that on Yom Kippur and the 15th of Av, Jewish girls would go out en masse to find Mr Right. 


Why did they do this specifically on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year? And what is the message of Tu B'Av? 


The answer is one of Judaism's most unique concepts: that of soulmates. Somewhere out there is not our better half, but our other half - the lost half of our very own soul.


That is why the custom was to go match-making on Yom Kippur. Because if marriage is a spiritual search, what better time can there be?


So Tu B'Av is more than Valentine's for Jews. It's a search for your soulmate. Now there's nothing more romantic than that.

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