This week brings in a new month Rosh Chodesh Tammuz Each month has a place in the Jewish calendar and significance spiritually. Tammuz is the fourth month. It is of Babylonian origin as are all of the Jewish months’ names. In this case Tammuz was an idol. This foreshadows problems of idol worship and destruction if the people did not do teshuvah (repentance).
"And He brought me to the entrance at the Gate of the House of HaShem which was at the north; and there were there women sitting, bewailing the Tammuz" Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 8:14
This idolatry would lead to desecration of the Temple and the people’s downfall. It was the prophet’s primary responsibility to call the people back to the Most High. Secondarily a prophet in HaShem’s time and place would foretell circumstances to befall the People of Israel. At this time Yechezkel was seeing the what was separating the people from the Holy One.
Tammuz is related to sun worship and a Canaanite fertility cult in a pagan temple. The men were involved in sun worship and the women in the fertility cult at the time. The Most High stated in Devarim ( Deuteronomy) 4:19 “and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the host of heaven, thou be drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath allotted unto all the peoples under the whole heaven.”
The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day and opens the Three Weeks which end on the 9th of Av. The fast of the 17th is a time to recall today the reasons Bait Mikdash (the temple) fell. The point is to consider those lessons and polish our relationship with HaShem and our spiritual home in Jerusalem. It is understood by the Sages those who mourn the loss of the Beit Mikdash do merit seeing it again in its glory revealed.
The three week period of mourning is one of starkness. There are no weddings, no music, no hair cuts and no bathing. It is a time to mourn the loss of the Temple and the 4th galut (exile) we are currently in now. It remains with an element of hope admist the mourning because the Most High can bring us out of exile as He watches all. Tish B’Av is the 9th of Av when the Beit Mikdash fell again.
It is told that it fell because of the baseless love of Jews for one another. No longer were they behaving as one community and family choosing to love and care for one another just because they were Jews. As in this week’s parsha there was strife between individuals, groups and lack of teshuvah (repentance and reconciliation) to one another and the Most High.
This time of remembering the period just before the loss of the Beit Mikdash and it’s destruction is one of the people of Israel suffering degradation together. The holy place where the Most High met man was lost. The altar for offerings and sacrifices was lost. The Levites and Priests lost their jobs. The people today still yearn for the time to see a Beit Mikdash and know that level of worship and ritual in their relationship with HaShem. The three set times of prayer today relate to the three times of offerings and sacrifices so that the temple service is not forgotten.
May we today pray for the yearning of the return of the holy Beit Mikdash, its rituals, life and service with the recovering of the Levites and Priests to serve the Most High as their families did so many years ago. May we each seek ways to serve HaShem in our daily life to be light to the world bringing the life and promise of Torah, knowing the Most High, and having the freedom of the mitzvot (commandments) as the derech chayim (path of life).
Note: Tammuz (Hebrew: תמוז, Standard Tammuz Tiberian Tammûz) is the tenth month of the civil year and the fourth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days.
Tags: 9th of av, bible, desecration, devarim, downfall, ezekiel, faith, fertility cult, HaShem, hebrew calendar, Jewish calendar, jewish months, jews, Judaism, lord thy god, love, Messianic, Messianic Jewish, Messianic Judaism, moon and the stars, pagan temple, planet, repentance, rosh chodesh, Sabbath, sages, Shabbat, sun and the moon, sun and the moon and the stars, sun worship, Tammuz, thine eyes, time and place
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