Tu b’Av (15th of Av)

Following a bitter civil war at the end of the Book of Judges, the victorious tribes swore not to allow their daughters to marry the remaining young men from the defeated tribe of Benjamin, and the tribe was at risk of dying out. After a painful process of introspection, all the tribes realized that an Israelite tribe could not be lost.

The young Benjaminite men were invited to the vineyards of Shiloh on Tu b’Av, described as “a feast to the Lord, from ancient times,” when the young women went out to dance in the vineyards, and the Benjaminites were able to choose wives from among the young women of the other tribes (Judges 21).

Thus Shiloh became a symbol of the unification of the all the tribes of Israel – unity and national responsibility.

In the spirit of this story, Tu b’Av has become known as the Israeli Festival of Love, and we have reinstated this festival at Ancient Shiloh with a joyous celebration of different types of dance performance and folk dancing.

Thousands of women and girls come from all over Israel to dance at this one-of-a-kind festival, which includes many different styles of dance workshops and dance circles.