Lovely leisure time for Tu Be'av

How to best enjoy the holiday of love.

Lake Kinneret. (photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI)
Lake Kinneret.
(photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI)
Tu Be’av, the Jewish holiday of love, is a time to stop everything we’re doing and take the time to celebrate the loves of our lives (and this time I’m not referring to a hike). According to Jewish tradition, on the 15th of the month of Av, Jewish men would go out into the fields to find girls dressed all in white, and they would dance through the vineyards. Although this may no longer be the way we celebrate the holiday, there are still many options to choose from that will bring a little romance into our lives.
♥ Tu Be’av in Modi’in
In the Hasmonean Village near Modi’in, families and couples are invited to spend Saturday morning, August 1, in a reenactment of the ancient Tu Be’av celebration. The festivities are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Hasmonean Village Visitors’ Center, where guests will learn about the holiday that symbolized the wedding season in villages around Judea. Children can join in activities such as stomping on grapes in an ancient wine press, cooking grape jam, making pita, and joining pot - tery and archery workshops. And while the children are busy, the adults are welcome to relax and listen to Boaz Karo play romantic songs on his accordion.
Location: At the entrance to Moshav Shila
♥ Love in the fields
Nature is a wonderful place for lovers, but not when it’s too hot.
Biking is a wonderfully romantic activity for couples to engage in, but during the day the heat can be overwhelming. Stein Electric Bike Tours realized this and began offering evening electric bike tours, which take couples on a two-hour circular path along the Zvi River in the Jezreel Valley. Along the trail, which is level and easy to ride on, riders will pass water reservoirs and see many types of nocturnal birds and animals waking up from their slumber. In addition, there are several fantastic spots for picnicking along the way.
Departure point: Outdoor center at Kibbutz Ramat David Price: NIS 160 for two riders Time: From 4 p.m. until sunset To make a reservation: (04) 650-6785
♥ ‘Sex, lies and Evolution’ Another wonderful way to spend the dusk hours is to join a Tu Be’av hike organized by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), called “Sex, Lies and Evolution in the Sand.” The hike will take place in the sand dunes of Nitzanim, and leading it will be Dr. Regev Manor from the Sde Shikmim SPNI Field School. Manor will explain the similarities between animal and human behavior and how animals use procreation as a tool to survive. During the hike, guests will hear about how some animals choose their mates, and how outer appearances play a role in nature.
Price: NIS 46 to NIS 67 For information and registration: (03) 638-8688
♥ Desert music
The Inti-Midbar Festival in Mitzpe Ramon, under the banner “Nights of Love in the Desert,” is in full swing. The festival, which will come to a close Saturday night, has become a tradition over the years, as it allows intimate encounters with veteran and contemporary musicians. The Spice Route Quarter of Mitzpe Ramon will be overrun for the weekend with musical performances, parties and art exhibitions. Overflow activities will spread out to vineyards surrounding the quarter, and the best part is that the dry climate makes the evenings and nights in Mitzpe Ramon pleasant and cool (you might even need a sweater). Among the singers performing at the festival will be Shem-Tov Levi, Shai Tzabari and Ahuva Ozeri.
Location: Spice Route Quarter, Mitzpe Ramon For details and prices: 050-526-5628
♥ Magic on the Sea of Galilee
There is no place more perfect to spend the Tu Be’av weekend than Lake Kinneret. There are many secluded and quiet niches on the beaches to relax with a loved one. Just north of Ein Gev, on the east bank of the lake, there is a stretch of immaculate beach where you can take a dip in the water, rest on the soft sand in the shade, or even set up a tent. Cars are not allowed in the area, which means that guests can relax with little interference.
Location: North of Kibbutz Ein Gev For details: (04) 673-1942
♥ In search of love
The Discover Tel Aviv Center in the Shalom Tower will be organiz - ing a nostalgic tour of the Sharona Templer Colony on Friday night. During the tour, which will begin at 5 p.m., guide Yardena Manor will tell fascinating stories about this Christian sect, whose members moved to Israel during the early settlement period. Guests will learn about Templer leaders and some of their most hidden secrets.
Departure point: Corner of Kaplan and David Elazar streets Price: NIS 40 For details: (03) 510-0337 Translated by Hannah Hochner