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Tammuz: Between a Rock and Hard Place

וַיָּבֵא אֹתִי, אֶל-פֶּתַח שַׁעַר בֵּית-יְהוָה, אֲשֶׁר, אֶל-הַצָּפוֹנָה; וְהִנֵּה-שָׁם הַנָּשִׁים יֹשְׁבוֹת, מְבַכּוֹת אֶת-הַתַּמּוּז

Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the L-RD'S House which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz.

- Ezekiel 8:14

The name Tammuz carries inherently the whole dilemma of this month, something that was initiated more than 3,000-years ago in the wilderness, of which we still carry the repercussions today.

Tammuz was a fertility god, and the name that was given to this month during the Babylonian exile. Before the Babylonian exile, months were generally referred to by number, “on the first month” etc.

It is on the 17th of Tammuz that Moshe Rabbeinu descended from Mount Sinai to bring the nation the tablets as well as the rest of the Torah. He was a few hours late, which threw the nation into a frenzy. It’s interesting how a little delay always shakes our emuna (faith). This delay and lack of patience propelled Israel into the worship of the Golden Calf.

Like we have already established, key dates on the Hebrew Calendar carry a certain character, and according to Eccl 3: 15 these dynamics repeat itself. So on the same date four other calamities happened:

1) The offering of the daily sacrifice was suspended during the first Temple Period

2) Jerusalem’s walls were breached during the Second Temple Period – one of the main reasons we fast on this day.

3) Apostamus the wicked burned a Torah Scroll

4) An idol was placed in the Sanctuary

Tammuz is the month in which idolatry reared its ugly head. That in turn, throughout history, caused tremendous destruction – including the destruction of G-d’s house and the exile of His people.

It is well-known that the instigators of the Golden Calf saga were the Erev Rav, the mixed multitude that followed Am Israel out of Egypt (Ex 12:38). The concept of the Erev Rav needs a more encompassing explanation. The word itself in Hebrew means “great mixture” as well as “great evening/darkness”. “Erev” refers in its essence to the time during the day where darkness sets in and things get blurry, where it’s difficult to differentiate between objects – a time when things get “mixed up” easily.

In short, the term Erev Rav refers to those who attach themselves to Israel in order to gain the benefits and blessings of Israel, but still hold on to their idolatrous ways. This can manifest in many different scenarios, but lately it showed its true colours in missionaries posing as Orthodox Jews, and a government that has selfishly led a nation into a very vulnerable state.

The border situation in Israel barely cooled down, before we were pulled back into the ongoing election saga, finally ending up as an all-inclusive unity government. It includes elements that hold the seed of destruction of everything the Jewish people built through blood, sweat and tears. It actually offers a perfect storm for the 10-year timeframe we are keeping an eye on. Naftali Bennet will probably keep the country from entering a two-state solution for the first two years, whereas Yair Lapid will then most likely pivot us into a full left/liberal two state solution. This will bringus to Israel at 77 in 2025, a very probable year for a Gog u’Magog encounter. (This is not a prophecy. This is watching a very steady pattern in the Hebrew Timeline, projecting a high probability).

Make no mistake, the battle to form a government was a desperate attempt to counter-act and break a two-year chokehold caused by a man who doesn’t know how to relinquish power and didn’t know when to step down with dignity. Let’s face it, things always go stale when it passes the expiration date. This selfish chokehold left Israel hanging vulnerable without a proper budget for over a year and pushed us into choosing the lesser of two evils.

Note well: the announcement that a new coalition was formed came on the 23rd of Sivan, the day when the evil decree of annihilation was counteracted in the times of Esther and Mordechai. It leaves one wondering what really went down behind the scenes the last few years. I get the feeling that a lot of the consequences of Netanyahu’s actions the last two years (perhaps even further back), will only become more apparent in the years ahead.

The formation of the new government hints to be volatile. So much so that the head of the Shabak/Shin Bet (equivalent to the US' FBI), said that we might be in for a ride. This does not bode well. We are about to hit the three weeks (between 17 Tammuz and Av), and then some.

Something else to note is that the finalization of the coalition happened between the parsha of Shlach Lecha and Korach. Shlach Lecha is all about the spies slandering the land, and again this week the Land of Israel is facing a coalition that might in the end cost us again parts of our precious land. Korach speaks of a rebellion where the leaders questioned Moshe and Aharon’s position of leadership. Last week, in parshat Korah, Bibi Netanyahu compared himself to Moses, putting his rivals in the Korah camp. In doing so he ironically placed himself equal to Moses, doing exactly what Korah actually did. (Korah's whole reasoning was that he is as "equal" as Moshe and Aharon and that he wants a go at being the high priest and leading the nation). With the generation in the desert, the ground opened up and swallowed the rebels. And so this week, with no coincidence, the ground opened up at the parking lot of one of Jerusalem’s biggest hospitals – Shaarei Tzedek, meaning: Gates of Righteousness/Justice.

Furthermore, Mike Evans, a big evangelical and founder of the Friends of Zion Museum, pompously thrusted himself into the equation taking on Bennet, the new coalition and Israeli democracy for that matter, vowing that he will mobilize his apparent 77 million evangelical following to, I don’t know, fight G-d’s plan? He then flew in from the US, hoping to convene his followers in the Knesset (face-palm, chutzpah, I don’t know, so many thoughts running through my mind), ended up doing it in a hotel where he carried on vowing to fight Bennet and whatever and whoever else that weren't to his liking and went off on a in Jerusalem, in Israel. There is no way that this will end well for him.

In fact, in his inflammatory diatribe in The Times of Israel blog, he not only likens Israel as the “other woman in his life” calling her “seductive” (boy, more thoughts racing through my mind), he also exposed some very questionable connections of the early beginnings of the man he wanted to save and who we, the Jews (those who aren't to Evans' liking, but Jews nonetheless!) in Israel, want to “crucify”. Hey, you can't make this stuff up, it’s all there in the blog, look it up for yourself. He then boasted about his part in President Trump’s influence and connection to Israel. And now, there is no Trump nor Bibi, although both are vowing that they will make a comeback. Again, claiming a comeback is nothing new, it’s an age-old narrative, leaving its loyal followers ever hopeful. Haven’t we learned not to trust in man? That pride comes before the fall?

So what to make out of all of this? The one thing that we can hold onto beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that G-d is in control and whatever is happening is according to His choosing. Furthermore, it is clear that the process of threshing and separation has truly commenced, and that which is being cut away, is not what most expected (or prophesied), in fact it’s the opposite.

So maybe the time has come to take a sober look at what is happening in real-time on the ground, and then realign, correctly. Remember the threshing dynamic: that which was familiar to you, and which actually carried you, has served its purpose. Holding on to it, will become detrimental to your spiritual walk.

The new government was officially sworn in in the month of Tammuz, the month in which the Erev Rav and their idolatrous notions, started their shenanigans. The Zohar explains that in the days before Mashiach all the leaders will be Erev Rav, and that they will cause tremendous anguish to the Nation of Israel. It is therefore appropriate that this month, in which the consequences of the Golden Calf that we have carried for millennia, needs to, and can be rectified, inherently also carries the seed for true change. It is again no coincidence that Tammuz and Av, which reminds us of the terrible destruction wrought by idolatry and consequently still keeping the majority of the 10 Tribes in exile, precede the month of Elul that calls for the wayward sons to return, before we can then hopefully stand clean before the Judge during the 10 Days of Awe. We must go through the corridor of this painful memory in order to shed the klippot that held us captive. A captivity that most don’t even know that they are still currently in.

Even now, I want to believe that the first two years of the new four-year government will bring some kind of stability and order, against the odds. May we see the days turn back from Zechariah 7 to Zechariah 8 where the fasts will truly turn to feasts. A somewhat peaceful transition might hint that we are entering such a time. This doesn’t mean that the ominous clouds of the birth pangs of Mashiah will miraculously disappear. It means that while the current harvest is at the threshing floor, the seeds of Shalom (Zech 8:12) will be cultivated deeply in the consciousness of those who choose to live by Hashem’s system of Governance. A conciousness that will ultimately carry and pull us through the volatile times ahead into the Geula Shlema (final redemption)

What are these seeds of Shalom?

These are the things that ye shall do:

  • Let everyman speak the truth with his neighbour;

  • execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates;

  • and let none of you devise evil in your hearts against his neighbour;

  • and love no false oath; for all these are things that I hate, says the L-RD

(Zech 8:16-17)

Let's start with that.

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