Bava Batra 121 - Prohibition to Marry Outside the Tribe Ends
Israel had no days as festive as the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur, for on those days the maidens of Jerusalem would go out dressed in white garments that were borrowed (so as not to embarrass those that had none), dance in the vineyards, and matches between them and eligible men were arranged.
One can understand Yom Kippur, since it is the day of forgiveness, but what is the significance of the 15th of Av? On that day:
* The tribes were allowed to intermarry with each other;
* The tribe of Benjamin was allowed to marry members of the other tribes;
* Those destined to die in the Wilderness ceased to die;
* Jews were allowed to go on the pilgrimage festivals;
* The slain of Bethar were afforded burial;
* They stopped chopping trees for the Altar.
Art: John White Alexander - Repose