Tamuz, the fourth month in the Biblical cycle is upon us and within its contents awaits the potential for growth. During the summer months, the days are long, and the heat is turned up. The humidity can get the best of us, and so can our heated emotions. Our flesh wants to expose itself as we go through this season. This is both physical and spiritual. Author DovBer Pinson has this to say:
“Before the Babylonian Exile, Tamuz was simply called ‘the Fourth Month.’ Only after the Exile did it take the name Tamuz. In the Torah the word Tamuz is related to the concept of heat, as we find in an etymologically similar word l’Meizei, as in “l’Meizei l’Atuna / the furnace heated” (Daniel, 3:19). As we have discussed, the heat of Tamuz is related not merely to physical heat, as in the heat of the summer sun, but also to emotional heat and specifically the heat of jealousy. In the month of Tamuz we need to face and refine the fearful, ‘hot’ emotion of jealousy in order to elevate it and use it to catalyze positive transformation.”
The number four has some significance to it as well.
“Authority, government, rule, dominion, calendar, time, creation, kingdom, fullness, giving of the Torah (Law) and Holy Spirit. The most holy Name of G-d has four Hebrew letters (yohd, heh, vav, heh – YHWH.” (Grace in Torah.net).
As I have been studying this month and it’s unique qualities of transformation, I started to ponder how our Elohim/God views jealousy. There can be a form of jealousy that provokes us to reach within and become better people. During the next few months, we will have the potential for great darkness or great light, depending on how we understand Adonai’s Authority and Torah. With everything in this life, we have choices. How we see them, well, that’s up to us.
“Do not worship any other god, for YHWH (the Lord), whose name is jealous (qana), is a jealous (qana) God.”(Exodus 34:14).
I don’t believe Elohim’s jealousy is like our own. He does not get green-eyed with envy. He knows His worth. For His Name’s sake, He becomes jealous. The ancient Hebrews were about honor and keeping integrity attached to their name. It was important to uphold the family’s dignity and moral character. Jeff Benner from the Ancient Hebrew Center explains the ancient thought process on jealousy by breaking it down below:
Meaning: To protect. This child root is to guard (often translated as Jealous). A bird watches over the eggs and young with jealousy and will defend them from the enemy and prevent any other bird from entering the nest. Just as a bird watches over her eggs from predators, God also watches over his children in his nest, protecting them from predators – other gods.
What a beautiful visual of His love for His children, don’t you think? This month is connected to the sense of sight–seeing. If your interested in reading a unique approach to seeing like Naphtali the deer, please visit Tekoa’s newest two part blog Night Vision Goggles
We can stumble on our Messiah’s words and get confused with His teachings. But I think this is key to understanding what we should be doing. Yeshua provoked the Pharisees to jealousy. His teachings still do today. We don’t need to have baseless hatred for one another but a healthy understanding of our identities and role in helping bring the fullness of Adonai’s image.
“I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their false step salvation has come to the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy” (Romans 11:11).
Have you heard this saying,”like attracts like?” I believe this to be true. How can we provoke brother Judah into jealousy if we mimic what they do? Is it possible Yeshua has already shown us how? The fast of Tamuz will be here before we know it, and I understand we want to be in solidarity with Judah. And yet, I feel we are supposed to oppose them as well. Is this not what Yeshua did? Not in a fleshly battle for birth rights or trying to prove who the chosen ones are. But an action that will bring true shalom to Adonai’s House. Many will mourn the destruction of the Temples this month. I feel this sorrow too. However, I also feel this incredible peace and light because Adonai has set His spirit upon all the Earth! His authority over creation.
Should we grieve this month? Yeshua didn’t grieve the destruction of the temple. He grieved over the blindness and importance of knowledge triumphing over heart issues. Why do we grieve? Im not saying we shouldn’t fast or grieve, I think these are good for the soul. Im asking if our hearts are in the right place when we do so. Even the disciples of Yeshua got caught up in the outwards beauty of the buildings. What are we building and will it be torn down?
“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1)
What occurs first, our eyes’ or our heart’s desires? What if the answer is twofold, depending on the situation.
The heart and the eyes are spies for the body. The eye sees– the heart desires, and the body commits the sin (Rashi).
When we fix our gaze upon something we shouldn’t, our heart starts to desire it. Then jealousy engulfs us.
” One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” (2 Samuel 11:2-3)
The form of jealousy that we choose will predict our outcome. Are we jealous for jealousy’s sake?
” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous on my behalf? If only Adonai would make all the people prophets! If only Adonai would put the Spirit on all of them!” (Numbers 11:29)
What about for the sake of bettering ourselves? For instance, let’s say we see someone’s gifting and desire to mature in ours. Does this jealousy provide room for us to grow and mature in our own gifting? Does it cause us to inspect our own fruit. Tzitzit are like spiritual blossoms, reminding us of the fruit of the spirit.
“It will be your own tzitzit—so whenever you look at them, you will remember all the mitzvot of Adonai and do them and not go spying out after your own hearts and your own eyes, prostituting yourselves” (Numbers 23:39).
If our heart desires something first, then we allow our eyes to seek it out. Oh, friends, the battles of our flesh are real.
“When you go out as an army camp against your enemies, you are to guard yourself from every evil thing” (Deuteronomy 23:10).
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” ( Proverbs 4:23)
During the summer months, clothing becomes less, and bodies are exposed. It’s hard for even the mature to divert their eyes, yet we are told specifically to do so. Yeshua reminds us of that:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
If it wasn’t hard enough in the physical, we must also tackle this in the spiritual. We have to see ourselves as we are. Are we dressing modestly? If not, why do we want this attention? How about our character? Are we modest in this sense? Many questions for us to ponder.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
We don’t always see things as they are, but as we are. May we become one with Adonai, as Yeshua was –seeing from our hearts and eyes the perfect will of our Elohim.
“Rejoice, young man, in your childhood, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9).
The Months of Tamuz and AV: Embracing Brokenness- DovBer Pinson