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I am committed to a life provoking the invasion of The Coming Kingdom through: human service, ecstatic prayer, halakhic observation, community building, nurturing hope, and drawing down abiding faith...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tammuz: Broken Torah, Broken Walls, and Broken Hearts

So....One would think after a wild first quarter of a year we (The Jewish People) would be rearing to go deeper and deeper into holiness and unity. After all, the triad/trilogy of Nisan-Iyyar-Sivan sets us up for it. We have had wild revelation and redemption leading into a period of growth and preparation to receive the very thing that will keep us free and redeemed forever (Torah and Ruach).


Not so fast. After receiving the wildest revelation at Sinai, what did we do? We built a Golden Calf. Not only did we build this thing, but we rejoiced over it!

Our tradition has it that the month of Tammuz is the month in which we built this idol. The 17th of Tammuz is the day in which the walls of Jerusalem were breached (Commemoration of this day begins a three week period of mourning until the remembrance of the destroyed Temple). Tradition ALSO says that this very day that the walls were broken was the day Moshe broke the original tablets inscribed with the Aseret Dibrot.

There is deep significance in Moshe's breaking these tablets. Moshe does this after his conversation with HaShem in which he argues with HaShem that he should not destroy the people. HaShem was ready to wipe us all out, but Moshe intercedes. Now, upon coming down the mountain Moshe sees with his own eyes what has happened. It is clear that he was angry, but I would not be so quick to suggest that he broke these tablets out of anger alone. When he strikes a rock to pour out water out of anger, instead of speaking to it, HaShem declares him unfit to enter Eretz Yisrael. One would think that breaking the tablets inscribed with the very finger of the Holy One, Blessed BE He, would yield a significant punishment! But, what does HaShem actually do? HaShem has Moshe make a new set...Therefore, Moshe must have thought this through a little more carefully.

The Torah on its own doesn't really make too much space for T'shuvah. Most of the time, if you sin, you pay for it severely. There needed to be a way for T'shuvah because Am Yisrael is a broken group, humanity is broken. Moshe did the unthinkable, he made the Torah as broken as Am Yisrael was. Only through a broken Torah that can be made whole again is there a possibility that the Torah can be available to us, in our brokenness, so that we may be made whole again.

This is the connection between the breaking of the tablets and the breaching of the walls. Both events wereresults of our own inability to be faithful to HaShem. Our own denial of HaShem leads to the breaking of those things that keep us close to him.


This is not permanent. In fact, the Torah is broken only to be made whole again, and the walls are breached only to be built again. This is the "deeper magic" of God. This is what Yeshua did. He was broken in order to be made whole again so that we would do the same.


Back to Tammuz 5770. This is a month to face our own brokenness, but it is also a month to face what was done for us so that we could be made whole again and accept that renewal. This is the beginning of our process of T'shuvah. T'shuvah doesn't begin in Elul, it begins now. The problem is that most of us wait until Elul before we start. This year I pray that all of us members of Am Yisrael, especially those who are Hasidei Yeshua, would begin our T'shuvah now. Maybe this is the year that Av can become the month of Mashiach...more on that next month...Chodesh Tov...

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