Sunday, July 21, 2013

Welcome toTu B'Av, the 15th Day of Av, A Day of Joy in the Hebrew Calendar

The groom Barukh and the bride Khanna, two
separate portraits joined (c 1870)
Barely a week after Tisha B'Av  (the 9th of Av), the day of mourning among Jews for the calamities that befell them on that date throughout history, Jews celebrate Tu B'Av, the 15th day of the month.  It is probably the most popular date in the year for Jewish weddings.

The wedding of Barukh and Khanna, circa 1870. The bride and
groom are beneath a tallit serving as the chuppa (canopy).
Channa is the tiny figure under a "burqua," according to the
original caption. The man in the center is extending a cup of wine
as part of the ceremony -- sheva brachot, according to the
caption. The two mothers, wearing turbansare on the sides
of the bride and groom.
In Israel it's commemorated as a "Love Holiday"  like today's commercial Valentines Day or, for aficionados of Al Capp's Li'l Abner comic strip, it's sort of like "Sadie Hawkins Day," a propitious day for matchmaking.

To commemorate Tu B'Av on July 22 ...

Last year we uncovered pictures in the Library of Congress files showing Bukhari Jewish life in Samarkand some 140 years ago.  We posted pictures showing Jewish children in school, family life, a sukka, and more.

Today, we re-post photos from another group of pictures, the wedding of Barukh and Khanna around 1870.

Later this week we will present a gallery of young women in the community, and provide the background of the political changes that resulted in this pictures being taken.

Signing the ketuba, the marriage contract. The bride (peaking
out from under her burqua) and the groom are already under the
 tallit, with their mothers on either side

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Click on the caption to view the original. 

A party for the women and girls on the eve of the wedding. Click here
to see Barukh sitting with the men

Bukhari Jews, from what is today the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan, may be one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world.  According to some researchers, the community may date back to the days of  the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonian exile.  Over the centuries, the community suffered from forced conversion to Islam and from Genghis Khan's pillage and destruction of the region. 

Earlier, the groom met with Khanna and her parents 

Around the time these pictures were taken the Bukhari Jews began to move to Israel.  They established an early settlement in the Bukharan quarter of Jerusalem. 

The Bukhari Jewish families discuss the dowry prior to a wedding
(circa 1870). The caption identifies the two bundles
behind them as the dowry

Original caption: "A group of people escorting the bride and groom (the couple on the far left) to a house"
Dedicated to M & S on the birth of their son, Ro'i Naveh

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