Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why do we celebrate Tu B'Av? Is there any reason other then this.

I honestly don't know. This seems like another holiday made up by the male Rabbis. A few weeks ago the torah reading in Numbers 36 in the last portion of Numbers mentioned how due to a concern that was raised about the daughters of Zelaphad inheriting property a rule was put in place that if a woman does inherit property because their father had no sons they have to marry within their tribe so the property doesn't end up going to a different tribe. This is NOT a general command that woman should marry within their own tribe only if they inherit their fathers land should that their is some responsibility the women have in inheriting this land to preserve their fathers name.

The Rabbis claim that this law was abolished once we settled the land and we celebrate Tu B'Av because of this that this source of disunity was removed. And the date of this was Tu B'Av. This is quoting in the stone chumash citing Taanis 30A in the Talmud.

Why would this cause disunity to want a woman to marry from her tribe when she inherits property?? If anything it preserves unity and another man's property. The answer is I think the Rabbis mistakenly thought that this was a general command of not marrying into anther tribe and for each tribe to be isolated in this way wasn't a good thing. But this wasn't a general command.

They also say this is a great day for meeting a woman or for dating. What is ironic in that if this is true (which I am sure it is not) it would be a bad thing to say that woman no longer should marry within their own tribe to preserve their fathers name.


SouthernBelle Rivky said...

Mr. Adam such a sweetie to make Tu B'Av post because I asked...hehehe big wink Mr. Adam's way!!! ;)

I found one more reference to Tu B'Av I did not know about before.

The ban on intermarrying with the tribe of Benjamin was lifted. This came from the Battle of Gibeah.

I read the account a couple of times, but it is kind of harsh to follow, so I won't try to rehash it.

Reference to Tu B'Av is at the end of the article!!

Analytical Adam said...

Welcome back to my blog! I missed your posts.

Anyway, here is the link to what you are mentioning to be able to link it here. Battle of Gibeah

I will post here the main part of this article related to this actually I have heard this story.

There is a big but though and this is this story has nothing to do with the command in Numbers to women who inherit property. The issue here a curse was recited to anyone who gave their daughter to the tribe of Benjamin. After this battle and they were reconciled the issue was how could another tribe give their daughter to Benjamin since this curse was issued.

So, the solution was to have the women attract a man themselves so a brother or father did not give their daughter to a certain man or set the daughter up. In normal situations this wasn't a good way to go about meeting someone for obvious reasons. And as the article explains if the father or brother complained they would tell them well this was to avoid this curse.

The part of the story I don't understand is that it claims most of the women were killed but not the men and that was how this problem was created and in general that would seem odd. This is Navi here and this isn't prophecy so that part of the story is very odd including that Jewish people have never been known to kill women and children even when women have done things that deserve punishment.

However, this story (which I did learn but forgot when mentioning this issue) was what confused me about the story in Numbers that I read more carefully a few weeks ago and realize wasn't what I thought this is no way is suggesting that women who inherit property shouldn't marry witin their tribe as that was done to preserve their fathers property within their tribe and is a good thing.

This curse of anyone who gave their daughter to the tribe of Benjamin was something uttered right here and I guess there is some happiness in that they used this way of getting around it which is legit as they aren't giving their daughters to the tribe of Benjamin.

And I guess sadly if women don't have a father or brother to help them or they aren't someone they trust they have to try on their own as done here.

On the next comment I will post the relevant part of this link.

Analytical Adam said...

THIS FROM WIKIPEDIA. THe full link is in the prior comment.

Then the elders of the congregation said, "What shall we do for wives for those who remain, since the women of Benjamin have been destroyed?" And they said, "There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, that a tribe may not be destroyed from Israel. However, we cannot give them wives from our daughters, for the children of Israel have sworn an oath, saying, 'Cursed be the one who gives a wife to Benjamin.'" Then they said, "In fact, there is a yearly feast of the Lord in Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah." Therefore they instructed the children of Benjamin, saying, "Go, lie in wait in the vineyards, and watch; and just when the daughters of Shiloh come out to perform their dances, then come out from the vineyards, and every man catch a wife for himself from the daughters of Shiloh; then go to the land of Benjamin. Then it shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to us to complain, that we will say to them, 'Be kind to them for our sakes, because we did not take a wife for any of them in the war; for it is not as though you have given the women to them at this time, making yourselves guilty of your oath.'" And the children of Benjamin did so (on Tu B'Av); they took enough wives for their number from those who danced, whom they caught. Then they went and returned to their inheritance, and they rebuilt the cities and dwelt in them.

SouthernBelle Rivky said...

I know it was separate reason for Tu B'Av than the whole inheritance issue, but figure this was kind of interesting. Explains the whole wearing white and dancing :)

I have hard time with early part of story with concubine business. Given that people could have multiple wives back then, not that many people did, why was the need for all that in the first place (not just here, but in general back then). Super hard question for Mr. Adam!!!

Analytical Adam said...

In general women who were unmarried did not have the government to turn to. And the children weren't viewed differently as of the 12 Jewish tribes some of them were from Rachel and Leah's concubines that they gave to their husband when they weren't having children. It certainly isn't an ideal but in some situation this is better then a woman being unable to marry at all.

Like I said though wonder if this story really is true with Benjamin or not since I find it hard to believe that more women were killed then men. You also wonder why men from the other tribes didn't worry that if their women married Benjamin to make up for their lack of women who they would marry since there were no women of Benjamin to marry. As the wikipedia article states some feel it may be legend because of the conflict between Saul and David.