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Shabbos Nachamu / Tu B'Av: The Inner Meaning of the Letter Samech

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

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א"ר שמעון ב"ג לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיוה"כ: בשלמא יום הכפורים משום דאית ביה סליחה ומחילה יום שניתנו בו לוחות האחרונות

אלא ט"ו באב מאי היא

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: There were no days as happy for the Jewish people as the fifteenth of Av and as Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur we understand: it is a day of forgiveness and atonement and also the day on which the second set of tablets of the law was given [to Moses at Sinai]. However, what is the special joy of the fifteenth of Av? (Taanis 30b)


While sadly many of us don't experience the simcha of Yom Kippur, the joy of once again feeling innocent in our relationship with Hashem, most of us barely have an elementary knowledge of Tu B'Av. Tu B'Av has been described as the Jewish Valentine's Day but if one studies the inner meaning of this amazing and holy day it is so much more. The purpose of this article is to explore, according to chassidus and Kabbalah, the nature of the fifteenth of Av so that we may appreciate the joyous festival we are about to experience.


While there are many reasons brought down in the Gemara in Taanis (30b-31a) as to why we celebrate Tu B'Av (The dying of the generation of the Exodus ceased, the tribes of Israel were permitted to intermarry, the tribe of Binyamin was permitted to re-enter the community, Hoshea ben Elah opened the roads to Yerushalayim, the dead of Betar were allowed to be buried and it was the day of the breaking of the ax) we are going to focus on the most well known reason. According to the Mishna (26b) on Tu B'Av "the daughters of Yerushalayim would go out in borrowed white dresses so as not to embarrass someone who did not have a white dress and dance in a circle in the vineyards. And what would they say? "Young man, please lift up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself for a wife. Do not set your eyes toward beauty, but set your eyes toward a good family, as the verse states: “Grace is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30), and it further says: “Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:31). And similarly it is written, "Go out, daughters of Zion, and see King Solomon, in the crown with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day and on the day of his heart's rejoicing" (Song of Songs 3:11). "His wedding day" — this is the Giving of the Torah; "the day of his heart's rejoicing" — this is the building of the Holy Temple, which shall be rebuilt speedily in our days."

Let us pause to highlight several questions that arise when studying this Mishna.

1. Our Mishna concludes with a discussion about Tu B'Av but begins by discussing the three times of the year that the Kohanim recite Birchas Kohanim four times in a single day. What is the connection between these two seemingly random topics?

2. Rav Shimon Ben Gamliel groups Tu B'Av and Yom Kipuur together as the two happiest days of the year. Is there a connection between Yom Kippur and Tu B'Av?

3. The Mishna highlights the fact that the daughters of Yerushalayim were dancing in a circle. The purpose of the day was for the women to find an appropriate shidduch. What is the connection between dating and dancing? Furthermore, why were they dancing in a circle at all? Why not a line dance?

4. The women would exhort the man not to focus on beauty but on hailing from a good family. The Mishna quotes three separate pesukim to support the position of these women. The last passuk (Shir HaShirim 3:11) requires our attention. "Go out, daughters of Zion, and see King Solomon, in the crown with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day and on the day of his heart's rejoicing." "His wedding day" — this is the Giving of the Torah; "the day of his heart's rejoicing" — this is the building of the Holy Temple, which shall be rebuilt speedily in our days." Shlomo HaMelech is a reference to Hashem and his mother is referring to Klal Yisrael. Our wedding day is the day of Matan Torah and the day of our rejoicing is the time in which the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt.

Several questions come to mind. To begin with, what is the significance of referring to Hashem as Shlomo HaMelech? Rashi comments that Shlomo HaMelech is a reference to a King who has Shalom but this only furthers our curiosity. Why are we specifically focusing on the Shalom aspect of Hashem? Secondly, what does Tu B'Av have to do with the day we received the Torah? Shavuos is the day in which Hashem married Klal Yisrael! Lastly, what is the connection between Tu B'Av and the day in which the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt?


The Gemtria of Samech - Infinite, Completion and Harmony

The word Tu B'Av can be read in two ways. Calendarically it refers to the 15th of the month of Av. The Chasidic Masters teach that Tu B'Av can also be read as the fifteenth letter of the Aleph-Beis (Av = Aleph-Beis). The fifteenth letter of the Aleph Beis is the Samech and as we will see it has many deep connections to the Yom Tov of Tu B'Av.

In order to understand the meaning of the Samech we must focus on two different aspects of the letter; its gematria and its form. The gematria of Samech is 60. The number sixty represents the concept of infinity, fullness and completion. The word for infinity in Kabbalah is אין (nothingness). When the word is broken down it begins with an aleph which is a reference to Hashem, who can be found in the י and the ן. The י refers to the highest spiritual worlds and the ן refers to the lowest aspects of the physical world (the י is the highest letter and the ן is the lowest letter). Together the gematria of י and the ן add up to 60 making the full meaning of the word, the infinite God who can be found equally in both the highest spiritual worlds and the lowest physical world.

Sixty also symbolizes completion. For example, the complete oral Torah contains sixty tractates of Mishnayos. The number 60 represents the complete state of the world when both the physical and the spiritual are seen together in harmony. Halacha (הלכה) is the way we engage our physical world so that we can reveal its inner spiritual nature. It comes as no surprise then that the Gematria of הלכה is 60.

In halacha we have a concept called batel bishishim. Nullification in halacha requires one sixtieth. For example, if a drop of milk falls into a pot of meat, the halacha is that if there is sixty times the amount of meat to the one drop of milk, the milk is completely nullified and it is permissible to eat. As we said before the ultimate nothingness (infinity) is one to sixty (אין is one in sixty). Anytime we speak about nullification in Judaism we refer to it as one in sixty. The Gemara in Berachos (57b) teaches, "There are five matters in our world which are one-sixtieth of their most extreme manifestations. They are: Fire, honey, Shabbat, sleep, and a dream. The Gemara elaborates: Our fire is one-sixtieth of the fire of Gehenna; honey is one-sixtieth of manna; Shabbat is one-sixtieth of the World-to-Come; sleep is one-sixtieth of death; and a dream is one-sixtieth of prophecy." The Gemara in Baba Metzia (30b) says that "He who visits a sick person takes away one-sixtieth of their illness."

The ultimate expression of complete harmony is 60 multiplied by 10,000. By Matan Torah, Klal Yisrael is counted as ששים רבוא, which doesn't mean 600,000 but rather 60 ten thousands (sixty myriads). Why does the Torah not simply say 600,000? The place value of 10,000 is 5 (ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands). Each of the five place values in the number column corresponds to one of the five aspects of the soul. Ten thousand, the fifth place value, corresponds to yechidah, the highest dimension of the soul that is infinitely connected to all other souls. Achdus is necessary to receive the Torah. At Har Sinai each Jew was one of sixty ten thousands. This was the ultimate expression of bittul, nullification, to the tzibbur in its most complete form. As one of sixty ten thousands we could appropriately be called איש אחד בלב אחד (one person with one soul) and as such we were zocheh to receive the Torah.


The Form of Samech - Completing the Circle of Life

What is love? We are all familiar with the classic idea of Rav Dessler that to love is to give but what exactly does giving mean? What exactly are we supposed to give to our loved ones? We know that God created the world out of love, as the passuk says עולם חסד יבנה. Kabbalah explains that for God to create the world he had to contract Himself (tzimtzum), so to speak, in order to allow for the existence of another. In truth, God is everywhere. There is no place that it devoid of His presence. And so even in the space that was created from God's contraction, God could still be found. This represents a much deeper explanation of the word love. To love is to retract yourself to create a space that you occupy but that is shared with another. It is a space that allows for both parties to exist safely. Keep this in mind as we explore the form of the Samech.

The form of the Samech is a circle (ס). A circle is infinite. It has no beginning and no end. In a circle there are no points of distinction. Each part of the line blends perfectly with the other. Indeed it is seen as one uninterrupted line with no conflicts. Perfect intimacy. Complete oneness.

The word Samech means to support. To support another often requires retracting our own interests. By pulling back our own will and supporting another we create the circles of our relationships.

This is the goal of a marriage. To retract ourselves in such a fashion that allows for our points of distinction to blend perfectly with our spouse. In the beginning, marriage is designed conflict (ezer kinegdo) but as a couple grows together and supports (somech) one another, each side learns to contract themselves in such a fashion that allows for Shalom, the harmony of opposites. Like the word Samech (support), the couple learns how to lean on each other and coexist peacefully.

How can the couple confidently retract themselves? Retraction can be a scary process. Someone with an impoverished mentality is afraid of the vulnerability that comes along with contraction. How can the couple tap into an abundance mentality that allows for them to retract themselves despite their vulnerabilities? Ultimately, marriage is not a union of two souls but a reunion of one soul. Each soul represents half of a circle. When they come together the circle is complete. We are not trying to merge two distinct items that have never been unified before. That might very well be impossible. It is more like two puzzle pieces that are designed to fit one another. Knowing that your spouse is the counterpart of your soul instills the confidence that's necessary to truly love someone. It may be painful in the beginning but you know that the pieces are meant to fit and so you have the courage to see it through. This is called completing the circle.

The Jewish wedding ceremony is replete with circles. The Kallah walks around the Chasan in seven circles. The Chasan puts a circular ring on the Kallahs finger. With the wedding ceremony the circle has now been closed. The two half circles of the soul have been reunited.

The circle symbolizes the complete (60) uncompromising support (somech) that the Chasan and Kallah have for each other. The couple recognizes the challenges that exist in merging two completely opposite people but commit themselves completely to supporting one another. It requires nullification (1/60) of the ego to retract one's self and create space for another in times of strife but that is the commitment embodied in the message of the circle.

The word samech (סמך) is an acronym for: סלח (to forgive), מחל (to pardon), and כפר (to atone). Supporting each other, creating a shared safe space for one another, often requires forgiveness. We must ask forgiveness and be willing to forgive others. When one forgives and is forgiven it brings a great healing to the relationship. This is why the shoresh, the root, of the word סמך is סם, which means medicine. Supporting each other, forgiving each other, is the greatest medicine of all. Perhaps this is why we connect סומך נופלים ורופא חולים in shemoneh esrei. The support that comes from the Samech brings refuah to those that are ill.


With this in mind, we can now explain the halacha that when a person is bringing a korban in the Beis Hamikdash there is a mitzvah of semicha (Samech). The person bringing the sacrifice was commanded to place his hands on the sacrifice (סמך ידו) exerting his full weight upon the korban and confess. Why was this necessary? As we saw in marriage, when we support (Samech) another and we allow ourselves to be supported by another, we begin to identify with each other. This support is what creates intimacy. By placing their hands and exerting all of their weight on the animal the person bringing the korban allows the animal to support them. In doing so they identify with the korban and saw not just the animal but they themselves as being offered to God. Only when the mitzvah of Semicha is performed can we achieve the necessary forgiveness (סמך = סלח, מחל, כפר ) and bring about a spiritual healing (סם). This fulfills the purpose of bringing the korban.


This concept also explains a fascinating Gemara in Shabbos (104a) wherein the Chachamim said to Rav Yehoshua ben Levi: Young students came today to the Beis Medrash and said things the likes of which were not said even in the days of Yehoshua bin Nun. These children who only knew the aleph Beis interpreted the letters homiletic ally. When it came to Samech and Ayin the Gemara presents two possibilities as to how the children explained the letters. The first explanation is that Samech/Ayin (ס/ע) means to support the poor (סמך עניים). The second explanation is that Samech/Ayin means to make mnemonic signs (סימנים עשה) to remember the Torah and acquire it.

What was so amazing about these explanations of Samech/Ayin that the Chachamim said that Torah like had not been taught even since before the times of Yehoshua bin Nun? They seem to be simple (perhaps even simplistic) explanations?

Whenever there is a machlokes in the Gemara the two sides are not two totally distinct opinions. Rather, a machlokes is two ways of viewing one concept. In this Gemara, the concept being discussed is creating unity with another, through the method of support and contraction. The first explanation (סמך עניים) speaks about creating unity by supporting those that are poor. This requires a retraction of our own interest in order to support another. Of course, all things being equal, we would rather keep our hard earned money or our precious time but we contract our desires to support those who are less fortunate. Like God who contracts Himself and reaches down to support us, we create intimacy with those who have fallen on hard times by contracting our own desires and supporting them. The second explanation of the Gemara (סימנים עשה) speaks about creating intimacy even within ourselves. Sometimes to truly bring the teachings of the Rebbe inside of ourselves, when we feel "impoverished" because we can't remember them, we support ourselves by "contracting" the lesson into a mnemonic device. In this fashion we can internalize and become intimate with the teachings of the Rebbe. To become one with yourself is not a simple thing. We have many conflicting desires that pull at us in every which way. In this way we are impoverished and need support. To create harmony within, we must inculcate the teachings of the Torah. To do so requires a tzitmtzum of the lesson so that it is personalized to our specific situation. The lessons of the Torah are broad but we must create mnemonic devices so that we can personalize them and bring them within ourselves.

This is the lesson of the circular form of the Samech and its Gematria of sixty. To create a complete (60) circle, to create intimacy with our spouses, those that are less fortunate and even ourselves we must be mevatel ourselves (1/60) and love each other by supporting (Samech) one another.


The Connection Between Birchas Kohanim and the Letter Samech

Earlier we pointed out that while the Mishna in Taanis concludes with a discussion of Tu B'Av it begins with a discussion of Birchas Kohanim. Specifically the Mishna discusses on which days we get the maximum amount of berachos from the Kohanim.

The Kohen in Yiddishkeit represents the ultimate person of love. The Mishna in Avos (1:12) instructs us to be from the talmidim of Aharon HaKohen. Loving and pursuing peace; Loving our fellow people and drawing them close to Torah. The Rambam explains that when Aharon would sense that someone was heading in the wrong direction he would speak with them extensively in a pleasant fashion and he would truly love them. The person having experienced the affection that Aharon showed them would think to themselves “If Aharon would know who I really am he wouldn’t even be able to look at me, let alone to speak with me. But in his eyes, I am a good person so I will live up to who he thinks I am.” Such was the loving “kiruv” style of Aharon HaKohen.

The Kohen, the descendants of Aharon HaKohen (the ultimate personality who embodies love), gives the ultimate loving bracha. The text of the bracha is "Blessed are you … who has made us holy with the holiness of Aaron and has commanded us to bless His people Israel with love." This is quite an unusual bracha. There is no other bracha that instructs us to fulfill a mitzvah with love. How can the Kohanim be instructed to have an emotion? Are emotions something we can simply turn on and off? Why is Birchas Kohanim unique in this regard? We should ideally perform all of our Mitzvos out of love! Should we not be commanded to put on Teffilin with love? Sit in the Succah with love?

In truth, the Kohen is simply a conduit through which Hashem channels his blessings into this world. But how does the Kohen become such a vessel? The Kohen lovingly retracts (1/60) himself so that he can be the divine conduit through which we connect to God. It is because the Kohen is such a loving and selfless person, focused on supporting (somech) the needs of the tzibbur, that he is able to channel God's divine energy into the world. And so it won't shock you to know that Birchas Kohanim has sixty letters and fifteen words (as a reminder the Samech is the fifteenth letter of the aleph-Beis). The Mishnah (Oholot 1:8) teaches that there are thirty bones in each hand, sixty when the hands are joined. This is why the Kohanim put their hands together when blessing the tzibbur. They are channeling the energy of the Samech. Through the loving act of the Kohen and his bracha (comprised of 60 and 15) the Kohen helps us achieve a state of oneness (complete circle) with Hashem. Our Mishna in Taanis (26b) begins by focusing on the days in which the Kohen blesses us four times giving us the maximum opportunity to close our circle with God and achieve a state of dveikus. Appropriately it concludes with Tu B'Av, the day in which the daughters of Yerushalayim closed their circles with their spouses.


The Dancing Circle of Tu B'Av

With all of the above in mind, we are now ready to understand the connection between Birchas Kohanim, Tu B'Av, Yom Kippur and why the daughters of Yerushalayim were dancing in a circle.

As we mentioned, Tu B'Av is not only a reference to the fifteenth day of Av but to the fifteenth letter of the aleph-beis, the Samech.

What exactly is the great joy of Tu B'Av? The union between a husband and a wife represents the greatest oneness. Friends may be close but only a husband and wife can achieve intimacy. With the greatest intimacy comes the purest joy. The joy is that we are once again connected with our missing half. The Kohanim help us achieve that state of unity with a Birchas Kohanim. The bracha of 15 and 60 creates completion and intimacy with God. Four times a year we experience maximum intimacy through their brachos. These four occasions share an inner meaning with Tu B'Av. On Tu B'Av, the fifteenth of the month, the girls gather together in a circle (the form of the Samech) to express the unparalleled joy that comes with the reunion of the soul. Once again we are complete. On Yom Kippur men wear a white kittel to signify their purity in an effort to be forgiven and reunite with God. On Tu B'Av the women wear white to signify their purity and reunite with their future husbands. As we said above סמך is an acronym for סלח, מחל, כפר. By dancing in a circle all differences are overcome (forgiven) and the unadulterated joy of intimacy is experienced. On Yom Kippur we experience dveikus with Hashem. On Tu B'Av we experience the deepest connection with each other.

Tu B'Av has no specific practices or rituals. Every other Yom Tov has special actions we are obligated to perform to highlight various aspects of our relationship with Hashem. On Tu B'Av we celebrate love itself. Actions would only get in the way. It is the loving gaze into each other's eyes. No action could capture that feeling.

Shlomo HaMelech and the Samech

The Gemara in Sotah (17a) says when there is Shalom between a man and a woman the Shechinah (the indwelling of Divine presence) is found there. This is because when the איש (the man) and the אשה (the woman) live in harmony, the י from the איש and the ה from the אשה, come together to spell out Hashem's name. And of course, the gematria of י"ה is fifteen. When the י and the ה reunite in shalom, it is a Tu B'Av experience.

The Shalom experience between a husband and wife, between God and Klal Yisrael, are embodied in the persona of Shlomo HaMelech. It should come as now surprise that the connections between Shlomo HaMelech and the letter Samech (both in form and in number) are exceptionally deep.

To begin with Shir HaShirim, authored by Shlomo HaMelech, speaks about sixty Queens (6:8) but this is just an appetizer.

The Gemara in Yevamos (109b) tells us that Shlomo HaMelech slept with sixty giborim (mighty men) surrounding him in a circle. The Gemara cites the verse in Shir HaShirim (3:7-8) which states, "Behold, it is the bed of Shlomo surrounded by sixty Giborim (mighty men) of the mighty men of Yisrael. They all clutch the sword and are trained in warfare; each man with his sword upon his thigh, [defending] against the dread of the nights." The Gemara derives from this verse that when a Dayan (judge) issues a ruling, he should be as fearful as though a sword is placed between his legs and Gehinom is open below him.

But who exactly are the "mighty men" mentioned in the derasha of the Gemara?

Rashi maintains that the mighty men are the Talmidei Chachamim who comprise the Sanhedrin, who are fearful in judgment as though a sword is placed beneath them.

The difficulty with Rashi's pshat is that the Sanhedrin was comprised of seventy Dayanim, and not sixty!?! If the verse refers to the members of the Sanhedrin, why does it mention sixty mighty men? Rashi in Sanhedrin (7b) answers that according to the Derashah, the number sixty in the verse is not an exact figure. The point of the verse is to emphasize that Talmidei Chachamim should be adequately prepared when they issue rulings.

(The Maharsha (in Sanhedrin) cites support for Rashi's interpretation of "sixty mighty men" from the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabah 11:7) which also explains that the sixty men are Dayanim.)

Interestingly, despite the fact that Rashi himself (in Sanhedrin) maintains that the number sixty is not an exact figure, the Vilna Ga'on supports Rashi's interpretation here in Yevamos. The Gra explains (based on a Medrash in Shur HaShirim Rabbah 3:13 and the Yerushalmi in Sanhedrin 1:2) that when the Sanhedrin convenes, ten of its most prestigious members sit in the middle of the group, surrounded by the other sixty. Those are the "sixty mighty men" who surround "the bed of Shlomo."

Tosfos disagrees with Rashi and explains that the word "Giborim" refers to the sixty myriads (600,000) of the Jewish people. According to Tosfos the verse means that when Shlomo HaMelech, the Dayan, is surrounded by the Jewish people who come to him to judge their cases, he and his associates must be fearful of Gehinom.

The Rokeach supports Tosfos' explanation by pointing out that the gematria of "Shishim Giborim" equals that of "Eleh Shishim Rivo" ("these are sixty myriads"). The Aruch LaNer cites the Yalkut Shimoni (2:986) which explains that the number sixty refers to Klal Yisrael, which is comprised of 24 Mishmaros of Kohanim, 24 Mishmaros of Leviyim, and 12 Shevatim which frequented the Beis Hamikdash, for a total of sixty groups.

In any event, whether you view this Gemara through the lens of Rashi or Tosfos, the connection between Shlomo HaMelech and the letter Samech is clear. Like the form and gematria of the letter Samech, Shlomo HaMelech is surrounded in a circle by sixty others (either by the sixty dayanim of the Sanhedrin or by Klal Yisrael which embodies the number sixty). As we pointed out above, several times in Shir HaShirim, Shlomo HaMelech is actually a code name for God Himself. The one God (a judge is sometimes referred to as Elohim) is surrounded by the sixty. In other words, he is batal bishishim (1/60). His state of bittul allows him to maintain the presence of mind (fear of gehenom) to pasken righteously. We can be "somech" on such a judge.

With all of this in mind, we can now return to our final questions. You will recall that the Mishna quotes the passuk from Shir HaShirim, "Go out, daughters of Zion, and see King Solomon, in the crown with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day and on the day of his heart's rejoicing" (3:11). Chazal darshened, "His wedding day" — this is the Giving of the Torah; "the day of his heart's rejoicing" — this is the building of the Holy Temple, which shall be rebuilt speedily in our days." Shlomo HaMelech is a reference to Hashem and his mother is referring to Klal Yisrael. Our wedding day is the day of Matan Torah and the day of our rejoicing is the time in which the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt.

Rashi explained that God is referred to as Shlomo HaMelech because we are referring to the aspect of Hashems shalom. Shlomo HaMelech embodies the idea of Shalom, the harmony of opposites, as he is the person who is surrounded in a circle by sixty. He is the ultimate Samech! Especially in light of the fact that the passuk is speaking about the marriage between Hashem and Klal Yisrael it is appropriate to speak about Hashem as the King who has Shalom. As we mentioned earlier from the Gemara in Sotah, when a man and a woman have Shalom between them the Shechina (the י"ה equaling 15) is present.

The connection between Tu B'Av and the marriage of Hashem to Klal Yisrael is now apparent. Our marriage to Hashem is a Tu B'Av experience rooted in the letter Samech. Only as sixty myriads (sixty ten thousands) could we could enter into a marriage with God. At Har Sinai we committed ourselves to God, declaring that He could be somech on us to follow his laws and we could be somech on Him to provide for the Jewish People. It is the day of the giving of the Torah which is called a סם, a drug. The Gemara writes about one who learns Torah, “Zoche sam hachaim, lo zoche sam hamaves” - If he is meritorious, then Torah is

the elixir of life, if he is not meritorious, it becomes the potion of death." The Torah is a סם, the only question is about the one who takes it. The Gemara in Shabbos (104a) quotes Rav Chisda who points out that the samech on the luchos stood miraculously. Rashi explains that the letters etched on the luchos penetrated through and through and were visible from both sides. Thus, the solid circle inside the samech (ס) hung miraculously in space, without being connected to the luchos. In other words, the samech was surrounded by nothing (אין) and yet it was miraculously supported (סמך). An appropriate symbolism for our marriage with God.


We can now understand the connection between Tu B'Av and the day in which the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt.

The Gemara that discusses Tu B'Av concludes by speaking about another circle dance. This time in the World to Come. "Ulla said in the name of Rabbi Elazar: In the future the Holy One Blessed be He will arrange a circle dance for the righteous. He will sit among them in the Garden of Eden and every one of them will point and say, “In that day they shall say, this is our God: we trusted in Him, and He delivered us. This is the Lord in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice and exult in His deliverance!” (Isaiah 25:9)

The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l teaches that Tu B'Av gives us a taste of the ultimate revelation that we will experience when Mashiach comes and the Beis Hamikdash is rebuilt. In the World to Come the Tzaddikim dance in a circle (Samech) like the daughters of Yerushalayim on Tu B'Av and point to God like a bride who points her finger so that the chasan may puts a ring (samech) on her finger.

The fifteenth of any month is the zenith of the Jewish calendar since the Jewish people are compared to the moon, and on the fifteenth the moon is full. It is a complete circle (Samech). The descent of Av is the lowest of any month in the calendar since Av includes the destruction of both Batei Mikdash. But like jumping on a trampoline the lower you fall, the higher you fly. The resulting ascent of Tu B'Av gives it the status of the highest, most joyous, day on the calendar exceeding even Yom Kippur. Imagine for a moment a girl who simply cannot find her zivug. She's been dating for years and somehow it never seems to work out. She goes months without a date and when she finally gets set up it always seems to be "one and done." When that girl finally does find her soulmate, the elation is so far beyond the girl who got married right away. The pain of being fragmented is surpassed by the pure joy of completing her circle. This is the joy that we will experience with the coming of Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash. In the World to Come, all souls, each equally close to God, will dance in a circle and rejoice as we experience the ultimate intimate relationship.

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