Is our Tamuz showing?

The mazel or constellation for the month is the Sartan/Cancer, the crab. May we traverse the hard outer shell of our selves to the inner spark within.

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: 

Transliteration: “Qa-NA”

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. “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). 

Works cited:

The Months of Tamuz and AV: Embracing Brokenness- DovBer Pinson

https://www.ancient-hebrew.org/ancient-words/ancient-hebrew-words-build-jealous-and-lament.htm

I’ve been in the garden this season. I’m blessed to have a variety of produce fruiting in the midst of the high desert. A challenge it has been for sure, but life supports life. The garden teaches me more about myself and life’s journey than I could imagine. Who’s growing who, I ask myself as I ponder the weeds and seeds. The bees and hornets. The scorching sun and cool breeze. I’ve been journaling my season of growth through my garden experiences. I pray these ponderings bless you.

The beautiful and sweet morning glory is getting ready to bloom as the sunrise begins to tickle its blossoms. Such a beautiful flower, ready to open up with the slightest of light’s touch. With names like sunrise serenade, heavenly blue, and morning star, who wouldn’t want these growing in their garden! And yet, they have a dark side that many gardeners know all too well. To some growers, morning glories are welcome to vine wherever they choose, and to other gardeners, they mustn’t be planted or tolerated outside their designated space.

As lovely as they are, morning glories are considered invasive and poisonous to animals and small children. They drop seeds wherever they are and sprout up everywhere. If the seed pods that resemble mini grenades are eaten in large amounts, they can cause hallucination effects like LSD to little children, which can cause young ones to trip. How many seed bombs we drop makes all the difference. Do we drop Torah bombs with great zeal on the little ones? I hear an echo- Peter (little stone) feed my sheep. ~John 21:17~ I pray we don’t get grieved by being asked to feed more cautiously, more maturely.

They will take over garden beds and cause the other florals and fruit to bow lowly as they vine up the unsuspecting plant and spread out in usurping fashion. Sending out sweet blossoms to adore, yet silently suffocating those planted closest to them. I adore the heart-shaped leaves of the glories in the morning. Yet sometimes, I have to uproot them quickly to enjoy the fruit of my labor and allow the other seeds planted to grow to maturity. I have to look past the various hues of lovely and remember that even though I love the idea of a wild garden, a food forest growing together, even in the wildest of growth, there is a natural order of things. Mourning before Morning. Do we see ourselves in the fullness of the Master of lights?

My sunflower being overtaken by a morning glory vine.

I ponder these things as I pull out the invasive blossoms from my cucumbers and sunflower patch. I look at the vines taking over my flower garden and wonder, why must you shine more brightly? Why must I? Has this mourning glory caused the morning’s glory to fade? We can be like these blossoms, they are beautiful and welcome, yet if not kept in order, they will slowly take over everything sowed. Not allowing others to grow because we must be the morning’s glory. The morning light that is too bright or unyielding can bring mourning to those still learning to establish roots and take in the Son’s rays.

Yet, on the flip side, these lovelies, when appropriately trained, can provide ground cover for cracked soil and vine-up dead trees bringing new life! They can give a sweet message with every heart-shaped leaf and open flower to the weary at heart. Life is a contranym. We learn best when we balance the light and darkness in our lives. So much this little garden of mine is teaching me. Everyone has their place in this world. Knowing who we are and our purpose makes all the difference. May we grow where we are planted and vine where we are needed. May our heart leaves mend lost souls and bring lovely shades of blossoms to the faint-eyed.

Fruit Trees, Forbidden Fruit and Maturity

Shevet is an interesting month to me. Well, all of the heavenly seasons speak at depths we must stop to analyze. This month is about pleasure. That’s a word that sounds nice to our ears and appeals to our eyes. Pleasure in and of itself is not a bad thing. It’s when we allow pleasure to become our desire, to rule over us. As with all things in creation, balance is what’s needed. Desire is not a bad word either, but it needs to be kept in check. But what is pleasure, and how does it differ from desire? Collins dictionary defines pleasure as “if something gives you pleasure, you get a feeling of happiness, satisfaction, or enjoyment from it” That sounds lovely. Desire is “a strong wish, to do or have something.” As children of Adonai, we all have a full range of feelings, emotions, and desires. It is a natural and beautiful part of the image of Elohim. What gets us in trouble is when we would rather act like the beasts we share our creation day with instead uphold the Echad image of our Father. Now that we understand pleasure and desire better, I would like to shift our attention to this month. In Hebraic thinking, there is a theme, a tribe, a constellation for each month, along with many other topics. This may sound rather strange to some of my readers but bear with me here. This is not a form of witchcraft, nor is it modern astronomy. It is wisdom from Adonai Himself. 

“Then God said, “Let lights in the expanse of the sky be for separating the day from the night. They will be for signs and for seasons and for days and years” Genesis 1:14,

 “He makes the Bear, Orion and Pleiades, and the constellations of the south;” Job 9:9 

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;” Psalm 8:3

Shevet, which correlates to January, a winter month, is centered around the theme of pleasure, and the sense is what we eat, taste. The tribe for this month is Ashur, and both the blessings this tribe received were about pleasure and eating. It is believed that as believers, we can tap into each tribe’s blessings and strengths, and weaknesses. We need balance in all things at all times. It wouldn’t be proper training for Adonai’s children if it didn’t get set up that way.  

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2

What exactly does the theme for the month have to do with us? Much. The theme is literally what we will be tested in, physically and spiritually. What we eat and how we partake of pleasure will define what pop quizzes and chapter exams we will be handed.

“The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual” 1 Corinthians 15:46  

This chapter in Corinthians discusses resurrection. Each night we sleep, each month and year that passes, we are dying and resurrecting in both realms, hopefully. As with everything, each month is connected to the next and simultaneously cross-connected. Shevet cross-connects with Tammuz. Both are months of extreme weather; one starts winter the other starts the summer. Extremes in the physical usually mean extreme testing of our flesh. Tammuz is generally June/July, the theme is might/awe, and the sense is sight. When we look further at these two months, we see that in Tammuz, the might of our sight; what we were being refined in during the hot summer months will help or deter our refining during Shevet, our pleasure, and eating.

We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” I must ask myself what do I eat, and from where is it served? Fast food delivers quickly, usually lacks nutrients, and has fillers to make up for poor quality; this means our taste buds are fooled. Entry-level fry cooks provide fast food, and I’m left feeling sluggish, tired, and have an upset tummy. I usually feel silly for wasting my money on such poor quality food, like Esau, my flesh desired food now! Quality food takes time to make, and there’s usually a long wait due to the care and bounty of flavors. The cooks are upgraded to chef level, and they know what it takes to make good, healthy, and tasteful food. I am left feeling satiated, content, and more inclined to be grateful for the bounty of flavors carefully created. Although it costs more, it is well worth it. How about when we make our food? In my opinion, this is the best way to eat. Yet, we still need quality ingredients and a time-tested recipe if we’re unfamiliar with the menu.

Let’s ponder this spiritually. Shevet is dubbed the month of trees. Tu’BShvat is a holiday that the Jews commemorate this month. Scripture says men are like trees. Galatians 5 mentions the fruit of the spirit. From what type of trees are we eating? Is the fruit ripe and ready? More importantly, what type of tree am I? Is my fruit ready to be eaten? I find this all so fascinating; I’m more intrigued by the fact our Heavenly Father laid down the answers to such questions. As always, on point and in the clutch!

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:23-25

Lots to ponder here. I wonder what it means to enter the land for us in the diaspora? Is this obsolete because we don’t live in Israel? I doubt it. Once we know the truth, we can never unknow it, un-hear it, and un-taste the goodness of Adonai. When we enter the land, spiritually speaking, we start our journey in becoming a whole bible believer. Our fruit is forbidden. Mainly because you don’t learn to walk without some form of crawling, you can’t become a humble leader without following a humble leader. Watch the fruit! As a gardener, I have learned that I don’t eat the fruit when planting the seed. It takes a period of nurturing, growth and maturity before I and others can share in the bounty. Following the protocols outlined in Leviticus 19, which discusses the various laws of Adonai, not Judaism, shows the proper timeline for one who has been fully engaged and active in their learning and maturing in the body of Yeshua. Keywords-fully engaged and involved; without this, we prolong our growth. In the orlah-forbidden years, we are to be learning to 

“Make every effort to present yourself before God as tried and true, as an unashamed worker cutting a straight path with the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

When our fruit is tasted in the fourth year, it is pleasing, an offering of praise to Adonai! Wow, so much to unravel in these little gems. This makes me stop and inspect my limbs—blossoms with choice fruit or dead, unwatered buds. Abba, let your words be the lamp that shines a light on my path! That fifth year is what we should desire- finally, the fruit is ready to eat. After enduring many different seasons and prunings, the fruit is delicious and ripe; as an added perk, the harvest is increased and prepared to share its bounty—what a beautiful picture of a mature believer.

What we see is what we desire. Without the seasons of maturity, we can harm others. Our sight helps in our tasting. What we taste will ultimately lead to our other senses.  

“You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.” Numbers 15:39

The heart and the eyes are the “spies” of the body — they act as its agents for sinning: the eye sees, the heart covets, and the body commits the sin- Rashi on Numbers 15:39 Hebraic thought is very different than our Western thinking. The heart and desire are usually described as the seat of emotion, but Biblically speaking, it’s the mind and kidneys. Our minds are intellect and inner thoughts, while our kidneys are the actual seat of emotions. Going back to fruit trees, we all know Eve’s desire wasn’t necessarily evil, but because it was off-balance, there were consequences for all her children afterward. Adonai is so unique that He weaves together all creation to and for all His creation. We can learn from the harsh heat of Tammuz how to traverse the frigid temperatures of Shevet. The sight of our might can help tame the pleasures of eating this month. We must watch what we eat and who is serving it. Is our fruit ready to be harvested, or do we need some more seasons of pruning? It’s vital to the body of Yeshua we follow the Elohim of order. His protocols, not ours. I pray this blog has blessed you, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. May we endure the forbidden years and progress to the time where our fruit is holy and an offering of praise to our Elohim, may we prepare our fruit, to be ready after our pruning’s and seasons of extreme tempting’s, may the bounty in our fifth year of being awakened in Torah increase because You are Adonai our Elohim! Shalom, and be blessed.

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:23-25

 If you are interested in reading more about anatomy from a Hebraic perspective, here’s an excellent place to start https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-1-the-heart 

Works Cited:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/pleasure

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/desire

https://www.inner.org/hebrew_calendar/index

 https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Numbers.15.39.2?lang=bi&p2=Numbers.13.25&lang2=bi&aliyot2=0

https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-2-the-kidneys

https://www.torahapologetics.com/language–word-studies/hebrew-anatomy-part-1-the-heart