Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tamuz - Satan, His Wife and the Antidote of Torah

Tamuz is a month where many tragedies happened to Klal Yisroel, such as the 17th of Tamuz, with all its related tragedies. Tammuz we also know is one of the summer months where the Yetzer Hora works extra hard to trip us up. One fascinating allusion to this idea, from the Chida in the name of Reb Shimshon Ostropolier, was already written up in a previous post on Shmiras Einayim. (See there, third section "Yetzer Hora Is Stronger in the Summer"). We all know Shmiras Einayim is, understandably, much more difficult in the summer and interestingly the sforim mention many more relationships between the month of Tammuz and the eyes. 


The Summer Months Represent the Eyes

The Bnei Yisaschor says that according to the Arizal each month represents another part of the head. Tammuz represents the right eye and Av the left eye. An allusion to this is in Eicha (1, 16) עֵינִי עֵינִי יֹרְדָה מַּיִם and the Gemara in Tanis (24) says a kallah, meaning Klal Yisroel, whose eyes are nice; you don't have to check her whole body (to see if she's healthy) and the opposite is also true – if her eyes are not nice than…. We see here a fascinating allusion – if Klal Yisroel (who's called a kallah) guards their eyes than the rest will stay pure. (For more on this, see Bnei Yisaschor, Tammuz Av 1:4)


Satan's Wife & the Antidote

Each one of the twelve months represents one of the twelve possible permutations of Divine Name, Yud-Kei-Vav-Kei. The Minchas Elazar in Shaar Yisaschor points out that the permutation for Tamuz is completely backwards from the normal spelling - it is written ה-ו-ה-י. This name comes from the last letters of the words from Megilas Esther (5, 13) זֶ׳ה אֵינֶנּ׳וּ שֹׁוֶ׳ה ל׳ִי. The gematria of this posuk is 480, equal to that of לילי״ת (Satan's wife), another allusion to her extra strength in this month. Also, Haman was the one who said the words in this posuk, and he descends from Esav, who has power over the month of Tamuz.


That's why there were 480 Batei Medrashim in Yerushalyim, to counteract the power of  לילי״ת.(The Seforim Hakedoshim teach that something with the same gematria has the power to counteract the other) The Rambam writes at the end of Hilchos Isurei Biah that the Yetzer Hora only rules over a heart that is bereft of Torah. Therefore immersing oneself in Torah is the way to win over this Yetzer Hora. Interestingly, Likutei Mohoran 214 mentions that the gematria of לילי״ת is equal to that of תלמוד, alluding that if one learns Torah properly he can overpower the Satan, but if one doesn't learn properly than chas v'sholom the opposite can happen.


Remember the Torah of Moshe

The previous paragraph is a great segue into the following from Likutei Mohoran 217: The first letters of  זִ׳כְרוּ תּ׳וֹרַת מֹ׳שֶׁה(Malachi 3, 22) (Remember the Torah of Moshe) spells תמז without the letter "ו". We need the remembering of the Torah to fix the forgetting of the Torah, which came about through the breaking of the luchos in the month of Tammuz. The Gemara in Eruvin (74) says that if the first luchos would not have been broken, Torah would never have been forgotten from Yisroel. Therefore Tammuz is without a "vav", because the luchos were the bechina of "vav", as the Gemara in Baba Basra (14) says that the luchos measured 6 tefachim long and 6 tefachim wide. Also, the first letters of ז׳מן מ׳תן ת׳ורתנו spell תמז, because this was the month when we received the luchos. It is again missing the letter "ו" because the luchos, which are the bechina of "vav", were broken, as mention previously.


A Segula for Shmiras Einayim

Sefer Hamidos (Re'iyah #9) says that when a man goes out to the market and is worried that he might come to hirhurim through his seeing beautiful women he should say the posuk: (Yeshaya 33, 7) הֵן אֶרְאֶלָּם צָעֲקוּ חֻצָה מַלְאֲכֵי שָׁלוֹם מַר יִבְכָּיוּן


See Shmiras Einayim - Thoughts, Stories and Segulas for much more on the subject of Shmiras Einayim.


A Simple Jew said...

Thanks to your posting I made sure to order a copy of Bnei Yisaschor. I am ashamed to say there not already a copy of this holy sefer on my bookshelf.

Devorah said...

Fantastic. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It's funny; when I read the title of this post (before clicking the link to read it), I thought that it would be about how the power of Torah can counteract that of Satan and his wife (L-i-l-i-t). Especially since in the second paragraph in the section "Satan's Wife & the Antidote" you mention how something with the same gematria as something opposite it has the power to counteract it, I was very surprised to see that you did not include in this post the following: One of the names of Satan is Sa-ma-e-l, which has the gematria of 131. As you have already written above, the gematria of his wife (L-i-l-i-t) is 480. The combined gematria of the above two names is 611, which is also the gematria of Torah, signifying that it is Torah that contains the power to counteract these two forces of evil.

A Talmid said...


In a vort received by email it said that the Chida brings that down in Sefer Pesach Einayim on the gemara in Kiddushin 30b