Understanding the Minor Holiday of Tu b’Av as a Correction to the Abuse of Women in an Era of Moral Breakdown

July 27 2018

Today is the minor but joyous Jewish holiday of Tu b’Av, the fifteenth day of the month of Av, which according to the Talmud is significant for six reasons. Among these is that it marks the day when, in ancient times, members of the tribe of Benjamin were allowed to intermarry with the other Israelites—a reference to the story told in the concluding chapters of the book of Judges. This episode begins when a gang of Benjaminite hoodlums rape and murder a woman passing through their tribe’s territory; thereafter the tribal elders refuse to bring the perpetrators to justice. A bloody civil war follows that concludes with the other eleven tribes taking an oath not to give their daughters in marriage to the Benjaminites. After some time, the other tribes’ elders relent and concoct a scheme whereby the men of Benjamin can ambush maidens from other tribes while they dance at an annual festival in Shiloh, and then carry them off as brides. Tzvi Sinensky attempts to make sense of this episode and its relevance to Tu b’Av:

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Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Book of Judges, Marriage, Religion & Holidays, Talmud, Tu b'Av

 

The U.S. Has Managed to Force a Stalemate in the Syrian Civil War, at Least for Now

In a little remarked-upon statement in May, James Jeffrey, the State Department’s envoy for Syria policy, said that his goal was to turn the war-torn country into “a quagmire for the Russians.” By using economic leverage, this policy has achieved modest success, writes Jonathan Spyer:

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy