1. From our Sages’ expression, “The Jews never had festivals as great as the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur,” we can infer that the 15th of Av possesses a quality which surpasses Yom Kippur itself (and for that reason, our Sages mention the 15th of Av before Yom Kippur).

The advantage possessed by the 15th of Av can be explained by the AriZal’s interpretation of the name Yom Kippurim (יום כפורים) as “a day like Purim (יום כ-פורים);” i.e., a day which approaches the peaks reached on Purim. The revelation on Yom Kippur surpasses all connection with material worlds. It is a day of fasting when the Jews stand as angels. For this very reason, however, its effect on our material world is limited. Purim, in contrast, is a day of celebration amidst feasting and festivity. Indeed, “a person is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim to the extent that he does not know the difference...;” [i.e., Purim reveals a level above knowledge within the context of our physical world].

A similar concept applies in regard to the 15th of Av. The 15th of Av represents a transcendent revelation, the number 15 being equivalent to the letters v-h. These two letters, themselves, constitute one of the Names of G‑d and are on a higher level than the letters v-h when considered as the first two letters of the name v-u-v-h. When considered as part of the name v-u-v-h, these letters represent limited levels which are reflected within the order of spiritual worlds. When considered as a Name in its own right, these letters represent a level which transcends that order and cannot be contained within knowledge. On the 15th of Av, this level is revealed through the activities of eating1 and drinking.2

Similarly, as mentioned yesterday, the 15th of Av should be connected with a Chassidic farbrengen. There should be mashke at such a farbrengen — the limits established in regard to its use should be followed so that one’s thinking processes are not confused, but the mashke should be at the farbrengen — to add to the joy of the gathering as the verse states, “Wine gladdens the heart of G‑d and men.”

This farbrengen must be of a unique nature, reflecting the fact that “The Jews never had festivals as great as the 15th of Av.” It must lead to an increase in Torah study as our Sages explain that from the 15th of Av onward, one must increase one’s Torah study at night. Our Sages also promised: “Whoever adds nights to his days in Torah study will have additional life added to his life.” Through adding to Torah study — referred to as “our life” — one will merit additional life and health.

The study of Torah will bring about additional material benefits including the revelation of the ultimate material good which will be in the Messianic Age. Then, there will be a feast of the Leviathan, the wild ox, and the like.3

Therefore, anyone who did not participate in a Chassidic farbrengen yesterday should do so tonight. Similarly, those who did so but have a feeling that there was something that could be added to those farbrengens, should participate in another farbrengen today. This will be in a manner of “doubled salvation.”4 To emphasize the concept of doubling, two dollars will be given out to be distributed to tzedakah instead of the usual one.

May the happiness of the 15th of Av be unbounded, like the happiness of Purim and may the dances of the 15th of Av bring about the Messianic Age when G‑d “will make a dance for the tzaddikim in Gan Eden.”5