The Zohar teaches that Moses, our Teacher, “appears” in each and every generation. In each generation there is one unique individual who is the embodiment of Moses, our Teacher, in that generation. The spirit of Moses emanates to all the wise men of the generation, and subsequently from them to all those living at the time, illuminating Jewish souls with the light of the inner, hidden parts of the Torah (“the ‘soul’ of the Torah”), bestowing upon them the power of the Supernal Knowledge, the power that enables one to know and cling to the “Giver of the Torah,” G-d, Blessed be He.
Tamuz was the name of a Babylonian form of idolatry. Its role was to awaken the sense of tragedy in people. Despite the 3 weeks of mourning that occur during the month of Tamuz and the beginning of the destruction of the Temple, the month of Tamuz is actually the month of anti-tragedy. Read here…
In Hebrew, “sight” (רְאִיָה) and “proof” (רְאָיָה) – both from the root “to see” (ראה) – are spelled the same but vocalized differently. When two qualified (kosher) witnesses see an event and testify to it in court it serves as sufficient proof that the event did in deed occur. But as a rule, if they testify “we didn’t see it” – e.g., that the girl next door, whom we see daily, got married – it serves as no proof that it didn’t occur.
In Chassidut we are taught to contemplate that the first word of the Shema, “Hear [O Israel…]” ([שמע [ישראל...) stands for the phrase in Isaiah, "Lift up your eyes [and see who has created these]” ([שאו מרום עיניכם [וראו מי ברא אלה). By so doing we bring the sense of sight into our sense of hearing (understanding).
The Torah lists by name the non-kosher birds. One of them is the ra’ah, literally “the seer.” The sages explain: It stands in Babylonia and sees a corpse in the Land of Israel.
In Hebrew, the idiom “to see someone’s face” can mean either to appease him or to fight him.
The month of Tamuz is the time of the year to rectify our sense of sight. The rectification of sight (on the spiritual plane, which manifests on the physical plane as good eyesight) entails two complementary poles: Seeing Divine providence in our lives and seeing the good in each other.
Notable Dates in Tamuz
1 Tamuz – 2nd day Rosh Chodesh
2 Tamuz – Yahrzeit of Rebbe Nachman of Horodonka
3 Tamuz – Yahrzeit of Lubavitcher Rebbe
9 Tamuz – Yahrzeit of the Shefa Chaim, Rabbi Yekutiel Yehudah of Sanz-Kloisenberg (5754/1994)
12 Tamuz – Birthday of the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (5640/1880)
13 Tamuz – Liberation of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe
15 Tamuz – Yahrzeit of the Or Hachayim, Rabbi Chaim ben Attar (5503/1743)
17 Tamuz – Fast Day and beginning of Three Weeks
22 Tamuz – Yahrzeit of Rebbe Shlomo of Karlin
23 Tamuz – Yahrzeit of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, the Ramak