By Rabbi Amichai Cohen
Characteristics of the month
Permutation of G-d’s Name: יהוה) הוהי) Hey, Vav, Hey, Yud
Tribe: ראובן Reuven
Letter: ח Chet
Constellation: סרטן Cancer
Sense: ראיה Smell
Body part: עינים The eyes
Tammuz is the name of Dumuzi, the Acadian sun-god (the Adonis of the Greeks), the husband of the goddess Ishtar. In the Chaldean calendar there was a month set apart in honor of this god, the month of June to July, the beginning of the summer solstice. At this festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud lamentations, bewailed the funeral of the god, they sat "weeping for Tammuz" ( Ezekiel 8:14 )
How do we resolve this apparent contradiction? Why would a Jewish month be named after an idol? The source of idolatry is the worshiping of the self, the worshiping of the body. Tammuz is a month where someone has the ability to access G-d in the deepest of ways or there is the ability for a person to worship the self and become absorbed in their tan and their physical image.
Tammuz is an acronym for -״זמני תשובה מהרים ובאים״ “Times of repentance are vastly approaching”. The new year is coming upon us soon, the times of Elul and Tishri associated with teshuvah. Repentance is coming back to ourselves, our highest source, coming back to the summer sun where there is a great revelation of G-dliness.
The energy of the month can sway us to the side, which is the connection to the sign of Cancer. The sense of vision can sway us to the side but we have to work on seeing things in the correct way.
Our ability to visualize beyond the moment that we live in makes us yearn for a better world, and aspire to be among those who make it happen. Envisioning potential inspires us to make sacrifices for what we believe in. The same ability to visualize beyond the moment can also make us see things through the prism of false pragmatism. We think we are just being realistic and predicting how things are likely to be, when we fall into the trap of becoming negative. As our imagery grows more vivid, we are paralyzed with despair or fear. When our mental imagery is in tune with God's vision of reality, it can move us toward what is known as Divine inspiration, "ruach ha-kodesh".
Excerpt from our pdf notes on the class. Check out our "Beyond the Zodiac" class by clicking here
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