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Tu B’Av, as a holiday of joy and lovemaking, represents the ultimate rise from mourning and embrace of life and its bounty, with gratitude for our own capacity for love itself.
What shall we say before You, who dwell on high?...Yet from the beginning You set us apart to stand erect before You. (Gates of Repentance, p. 512 and 515)
Growing up the child of a Jew-by-choice, everything about Judaism was a choice for us. For my mother, Judaism was a gift. She felt very proud to count herself among the Jewish people. She felt blessed to have the opportunity to do Jewish things.