When do Israelis celebrate love?

Valentine's Day is not the holiday of choice.

By ZACK EVANS
February 13, 2019 10:39
Robert Indiana's Love sculpture at the entrance of the Israel Museum

Robert Indiana's Love sculpture at the entrance of the Israel Museum. (photo credit: TALMORYAIR/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

 
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When it comes to celebrating love, Israelis generally prefer not to do so on Valentine's Day, according to a survey by the Jewish People Policy Institute.

Instead, more Israelis celebrate Tu B'Av, a minor summer holiday that has become a kind of subsitute for Valentine's Day in modern Israel.

According to ancient rabbis, Tu B'Av was originally a celebration that marked the beginning of the grape harvest, which ended on Yom Kippur.




The JPPI survey reported that while many Israelis still celebrate on Valentine's Day, the level of observance of the holiday decreases depending on how religious one is. Almost half of the Haredi, or ultra-orthodox, population is unaware of the existence of Valentine's Day.

Even secular Jews, however, prefer to participate in romantic activities on Tu B'Av.

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