Moon of Change (June/July)
Tammuz is the month of claiming personal sovereignty and risking success, failure, and change.
- Linear Month: 10
- Torah Month: 4
- Season: Summer
- Holidays: Tzom Tammuz
- Offerings1: Red Ribbons, Jerusalem Stone
- Element2: Mayim (מַיִם) Water within Eish (אֵשׁ) Fire
- Spiritual Focus3: Creativity through Divine Connection
- Netivah: Ima (אֵם) Mother
- Constellation: Sartan (סַרְטָן) Cancer/Crab
- Letter: Chet – ח
- Tribe: Reuben – רְאוּבֵן
- Sense: Sight
- Tarot Card4: Chariot -מֶרְכָּבָה
- Soul Trait5: Achrayut (אחריות) Responsibility
Note: Letter, Tribe, and Sense are derived from the Sefer Yetzirah
See NOTES for additional information on sources of these all correspondences.
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Tammuz is another one of those months with no holidays, except for a minor fast, and no real practices associated with it. At least not any I’ve found. This makes a lot of sense when you think of the Jewish wheel of the year in relationship to agrarian cycles. The summer months are when there is too much work to be done in the fields sowing, tilling, planting and harvesting. Even though there isn’t a specific practice that we can associate with Tammuz, there is a theme. It’s vision and eye sight. Tammuz is a month that challenges us to really see what’s in front of us and focus.
If vision is the theme, then eyes are the symbol.
The practice for Tammuz then, is to see. Open your eyes. Look at the world around you this summer. Take in all the color, the wonder, the humor, the magick and mystery of the summer as it unfolds. Notice things you’ve just walked past before. See the beauty in everything, from graffiti to the most luscious garden.
See. Really see. See those around you. See yourself.
Tammuz is a month for clarity and vision. So open your eyes.
ברוּכָה אַת, שְכִינָה, אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם, פּוֹקֵֽחַ עִוְרִים
Blessed are you Holy One, your Presence fills creation, opening the eyes.
Key Dates in Tammuz
|1st||Rosh Chodesh Tammuz|
Birth and Death of Yoseph ben Yaakov vRachel (traditional)
|3rd||Yehoshua “stops the sun” (Joshua 10:12) (traditional)|
|17th||Fast of Tammuz to commemorate 5 Tragedies:|
Moses breaks the Tablets (traditional)
Temple sacrifices discontinued before destruction of first Temple (423 BCE)
Jerusalem walls breached by Romans (69 C.E.)
— The Roman general Apostomus burned the Torah
— placed an idol in the Holy Temple
Beginning of Bein ha-Mezarim
Yartzheit of Rashi, R’Shlomo Yitzchaki (1105 CE)
Shabbat Torah/Haftarah Readings
Note some months the parshiot fluctuate and in others it is always consistent.
These readings were selected by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet to pair with the weekly Torah portions.
- Genesis 3:15-4:26 – The Mother of all the Living This month we read the story of Chava, mother of all the living. Chava is the woman and mother named in the Torah. Her choice to eat the fruit was the first choice of humanity. Like most mothers, we have a complex relationship with her, so read her story this month of Tammuz to honor our first mother.
- Genesis 29:32-30:24 – Mothers of the Tribe The month of Tammuz is connected directly to Rachel Imeinu because it is said she could be heard wailing for her children during the destruction of the Temple. To honor the Netivah of the Mother this month we will read the story of all the Mothers of the 12 Tribes: Leah, Rachel, Bilah, and Zilpah.
1: Offerings & symbols were developed by Kohenet Ketzirah haMa’agelet for use as physical offering practices or in artwork.
The interpretations of the Sephirot are also from Rabbi Jill’s teachings. Specifically, they are from her Omer Calendar of Bibilical Women.
3: The spiritual focus is my own concept of sustainable spiritual practice. It is based on my interpretation of the wheel of the year and the Jewish holidays, as taught by many. The specific focus is for a season, as based on the element have/need system taught by R’Jill Hammer in the The Jewish Book of Days, as referenced above. For example Autumn is the time of Air within Earth, we have Earth we need Air and is the spiritual focus of Community (Air) within Resources (Earth) or more simply: communal resources.
4: While tarot is not intrinsically Jewish, it is a derivative of Kabbalah and a can be a useful tool for self discovery and exploration. Tarot correspondences here follow Kabbalistic tree of life by Issac ben Luria, the Ari, as opposed to some of the more common Christian systems.
5: The soul-traits for each month are based on Kesharim K’doshim Mussar, developed by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet.