A Sacred Time – Tammuz #2
Most people figure that the time to return to G-d is during the High Holy Days, or possibly during Elul,the month before Rosh Hashanah. Rebbe Nachman reveals that the deep repentance of the High Holy Days actually begins in Tammuz. The word Tammuz, when written in full with the vowel vav,is an acronym for ‘zmanei teshuvah m’mashmishin u’vain’—‘the times of repentance are on their way.’
Repentance depends primarily on the state of one’s heart—its contriteness, its brokenness, its openness. It is no wonder that, according to the Sefer Yetzirah, the sense associated with Tammuz is sight. We all know that there are things which, when seen, desensitize us to the spiritual. And the same is true when we misuse the eye of our mind to exercise various negative emotions. When we work ourselves up into a rage or resentment, we are actually closing ourselves off from the spiritual visions seen by our soul.
Rebbe Nachman explains that the more we protect our eyes from seeing the unseemly, the more open we are to perceiving what our soul sees. The very word teshuvah means to return to our source. We are all actually spiritual beings sojourning through this world in a physical body. The less focused on the physical we are, the happier and more satisfied we feel. The more we purify ourselves and see the true fiber of creation, the closer we are to fulfilling our mission on Earth.
Dear G-d. Please help me return to my source. Let me recall that I am a primarily spiritual being, and that my body is the vehicle I use to express my soul.