Where Every Jew is Family

Dancing Girls


Regarding Tu B’av, the 15th of the month of Av, the Talmud relates how “the daughters of Jerusalem would go out… and dance in the vineyards … whoever did not have a wife would go there” to find himself a bride.  it then describes three different categories of daughters and how each would call out to her perspective bridegroom:

What would the beautiful ones among them say? “Look for beauty, for a woman is for beauty.”
What would those of prestigious lineage say? “Look for family, for a woman is for children.”
What would the homely ones say? “Make your acquisition for the sake of Heaven, as long as you decorate us with jewels”(Talmud, Taanit 31a).

Chassidic philosophy relates these to three different kinds of souls among the Jewish people who call out to their “husband,” G-d.

The “beautiful” souls are those that have attained a deep love for G-d through contemplation and meditation of His greatness and truth.  This is built upon the innate love every soul already has for G-d.

They call out to G-d, take us as your bride, and You will be rewarded by the pleasure You derive when Your creations realize the potential for perfection You have invested in them.

Those of “prestigious lineage” don’t have the deep, self-generated, love of G-d.  They are sustained by the natural love which they already possess.  This, in turn leads to “children” (i.e. mitzvot and good deeds).

The “homely” souls are those that have developed neither their innate love nor created a passion for G-d.  They cry out to G-d, choose us for Your sake, because our essence is truly beautiful, but the difficulty of exile has caused our current appearance.

If we have failed to realize our potential for beauty and fruitfulness, then it is left to You to “decorate us with jewels” — to shower us with the gifts that will waken our quintessential bond to You and bring to light our innate perfection.

Have a great week
~Rabbi Yossi

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