A Sacred Time
The name of this month, Tammuz, can be rearranged as two very different two-worded statements. It can read as “zu tam”—“this is simple and whole,” or zu meis—“this is dead.” Rebbe Nachman taught in the story of “The Sophisticate and the Simpleton” that everyone has a straightforward choice to make. By focusing on the positives—even imperfect good points—and enjoying them as the “Simpleton” does—“like sugar and honey”—I can become a person who knows how to appreciate every single good point. That joy in my achievement, no matter how small the accomplishment might be, builds a powerful foundation for further growth and ever-expanding positivity.
The way of the “Sophisticate,” on the other hand, is the path of the dead. No vitality, no joy, can survive the brutal “analysis” of the sophisticate’s unrealistic and perfectionist view on life.
This is my Divine service of this month: to choose to focus on the joy of even minimal accomplishments instead of my many imperfections. My spiritual life can only be built upon a foundation of joy, no matter what.