Tammuz Kavanot

Jun 30th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer
We derive the appellation for God’s Name, used in the Rosh Chodesh Mussaf – Additional Prayer – for Rosh Chodesh Tammuz from the combination of letters and vowels of the following verse: “Yet all this is worth nothing to me so long as I see Mordechai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” (Esther 5:13) – “Zeh eineno shaveh li.” H-V-H-Y

Zeh – This

This verse teaches us that all the treasures of that wicked man were inscribed on his heart, and when he saw Mordechai sitting at the king’s gate, he (pointed as his heart and) said, “This is worth nothing to me.” (Megillah 15b) The word “Zeh,” always indicates pointing to something specific and defined.

Rabbi Elazar taught, ‘In the future, the Holy One, blessed is He, will make a circle of the righteous, and He will sit in the center in the Garden of Eden, and each will point to Him with his finger, as it says, ‘And they will say on that day, ‘Behold, this – zeh – is our Lord.’ (Isaiah 25:9) [Ta’anit 31a)

It was taught in the Yeshiva of Rabbi Yishmael, ‘Three things were difficult for Moshe until God pointed each out with His finger.’ Each of the three things is proven with the word ‘Zeh.” (Menachot 29a)

What was the kindness that the people of Canaan did for Jacob? They pointed with their fingers and said, “This – Zeh –  is a great mourning for Egypt.” (Bereishit 50:11) [Yerushalmi Sotah 1:10)

In the Haggadah we recite, “Ba’avur Zeh,” for the sake of this; Pesach, Matzah and Marror.

To What Can We Point?

The Three Weeks begin in Tammuz. It is a time of warnings, warnings ignored, and suffering. It is the time when we must consider to what we can point and say, “This is what I want,” “This is what is important,” and “This is what I need.”

We pray on Rosh Chodesh for the clarity of Zeh.

Paying Attention

The people who lived through the destruction of the First Temple, heard many warnings, specific – Zeh warnings from the prophets, but chose to ignore them. Are we paying attention?

We pray on Rosh Chodesh for the ability to understand God’s messages with the clarity of Zeh.

Author Info:
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