A unique way to celebrate Tu B’Av was held on Sunday for soldiers and officers in the IDF’s Shachar Kachol (Blue Dawn) program and their wives. Tu B'Av is a Jewish semi-holiday celebrating marriage and nuptials, described in the Mishna as the time when marriages were arranged at the town of Shiloh by having young women come there to dance in the vineyards wearing borrowed white finery so no one could tell their socio-economic status while their intended chose which one he wished to meet for matrimonial purposes.
Judaism is based on the family unit as a building block for the ideal, productive and giving society that the Torah's commandments advocate and in fact, the first commandment, given to all mankind, is to raise a family. A couple are expected to respect each other and their children to honor and obey them.
Shachar Kachol is a program which integrates hareidi-religious soldiers into the Israeli Air Force and has been operating for the past 4 years. So far, about 600 soldiers have participated in the program and have enlisted in various positions in the Air Force, with some even serving as officers.
Since most of the men in the program are married, Tu B'Av could be celebrated in a way that combined the values of marriage and IDF service. it was decided to hold a special dinner in honor of Tu B’Av and thank the soldiers’ wives for their support of their husbands and explain to them the role their husbands play in the army.
The event was attended by the Head of Human Resources at the IAF, Brigadier General Ilan Boger and the IAF rabbi, Lt.-Colonel Rabbi Moshe Ravad.
Also in attendance was Rabbi Simcha Cohen, who gave a lecture on relationships, family and education of children in hareidi-religious society.