9

The Gemara Taanis 31. says אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיוה"כ שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות ... וחולות בכרמים ומה היו אומרות בחור שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך אל תתן עיניך בנוי תן עיניך במשפחה (משלי לא) שקר החן והבל היופי אשה יראת ה' היא תתהלל ... תנא מי שאין לו אשה נפנה לשם that on Chamisha Asar B'Av the Bnos Yisroel would do various things in order to attract attention to themselves and to ultimately get married. When did this Minhag stop? Was it stopped for a reason? (sources please)

12

Since R. Shimon ben Gamliel (who flourished in the mid-2nd century CE) refers to it in the past tense, it must have ceased before then. It's likely that it ended with the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash (because after that it's impossible to speak of "the young women of Jerusalem"), or perhaps a little earlier, when immorality and murder were starting to become rampant (Sotah 47a).

  • 3
    "Jews didn't have such holidays as... when Jerusalem girls would go out" doesn't mean that the custom had stopped by then, merely that he is describing the way it had been done in Jerusalem: maybe it had mutated a little by then but not stopped completely. – msh210 Aug 12 '11 at 16:28

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