Chaverim Yekarim,

At times, the simple act of existence seems difficult. Sometimes, it feels as if stumbling blocks lurk in every corner, impeding our speech and our progress. The many good things we do in a day become overshadowed by the one mistake. An absent-minded statement to a friend, family member, or co-worker. A harsh and reckless slip of the tongue.

We all know the 24-hour ubiquitous global news culture can send us spiraling downwards. These days, it often feels like we focus on making things bigger or better, instead of focusing on the beauty of what we have. Instead of loving with compassion and kindness, we often look for ways to improve ourselves and those around us. And well, sometimes, that is exhausting, a cocktail for sadness and burn-out.

So on this Shabbat, let us take a break. On this Tu b’Av, let us choose love, gratitude and self-care. Tu B’Av has often been likened to the “Jewish Valentine’s Day” – a day filled with unabashed love and kindness. It is the opposite of the somber holiday that occurred 6 days ago, Tisha B’Av, when we mark tragedies caused by baseless hatred. Today, we mark the triumphs of baseless love, a fitting Shabbat to do exactly that.

As Moses continues his farewell speech to the Israelites, this evening begins Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath of Comfort. Isaiah’s words of compassion comfort and console us today just as they have for thousands of years.

SO today, especially today, let us comfort ourselves and others with love. In the face of hatred that seems to spread at an ever-increasing pace. In the face of gun violence propagated by hatred, intolerance, and exacerbated by the lack of common sense legislation. In the face of forces trying to pull us apart, let us reinforce the glue of our human family. In the miracle of each passing moment, let us love with carefree abandon, and rid ourselves of negative thoughts and speech.

Two very different ideas to help us all on this path:

Click here to send an E-card to someone you want to sprinkle with a bit of love on this holiday of Tu B’Av.

Attend this event Sunday afternoon at the State Capitol hosted by Moms Demand Action. Join with community and faith leaders to call on Senators Cassidy and Kennedy to support common-sense gun legislation via HR8.

Judaism’s beautiful recipe of faith combined with action help make God’s love manifest in the world. Together, we let the warmth and wisdom of our Jewish tradition shower us with abounding, limitless love.