|"Heart and Hands" wall grafitti,, c. 2012 by Heddy Abramowitz|
Love, it is said, keeps the world spinning. Valentine's Day is not celebrated in the Jewish calendar, being a holiday with origins in the Christian religion. Nonetheless, in recent years, the secular majority of Israel has embraced this holiday, much as it does New Year's Eve, another holiday which does not originate in Jewish sources.
With the attitude that it is a "siba le mesiba" (an excuse to party), restaurant ads offer romantic deals, hotels offer get-aways, gift shops, bakeries and chocolatiers all join in to make sure that the commercial world will be ready and able to provide the goods when Cupid strikes.
At the height of the warm summer, Jewish tradition's celebration of love and romance is marked. Tu B'Av (the fifteenth day of the month of Av), was originally a way to even the playing field for the poor girls. It was customary for all girls to wear similar white dresses and dance together while the boys picked their heart's desire, unable to differentiate between the orphans and the elite. Today, the traditionally-minded find it a preferred day for romance, proposals and weddings.
It is always a good time for romance. Above is a youth group's efforts at embellishing a city wall, with their wet palm prints and a huge heart. And below, a moonlit stroll along the Old City walls for a young couple.
|"Full Moon Stroll" c. 2012 by Heddy Abramowitz|