This “Essence” is taken from the Sourcebook for Leaders, written by Rabbi Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem. Gartner and Barbara Berley Melits, for The new moon, which marks the beginning of the Jewish month. According to tradition, because women did not participate in the sin of the golden calf, they were given the holiday of Rosh Chodesh. It is customary for women not to work on Rosh Chodesh.: It’s a Girl Thing! This experiential program was created by Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies to strengthen the Jewish identity and self-esteem of adolescent girls through monthly celebrations of the New Moon festival. The program is now available through Moving Traditions.
Tammuz is the fourth month of the Jewish calendar.
Tammuz comes at the same time as the secular months June/July.
The Good fortune, luck, and the Hebrew sign of the Zodiac. (constellation) for Tammuz is Cancer, the sartan (crab).
The Fast of Tammuz, which falls on the 17th day of the Jewish month of Tammuz. It was on this date that the walls of Jerusalem were breached, which is believed to be a defining moment in the struggle which eventually led to the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. (The 17th of Tammuz) is a minor fast day (fasting is required only from sunrise to sunset). Tradition ascribes to the 17th of Tammuz a number of tragedies from various epochs in Jewish history. The fast commemorates these catastrophes, the most notable of which are:
Moses’ breaking of the first tablets of covenant upon finding the Israelites worshipping a golden calf;
The breaching of the walls of Lit. City of peace From the time of David to the Roman destruction, Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the spiritual and governmental center of the Jewish people. During the long exile, Jews longed to return to Jerusalem and wrote poems, prayers, and songs about the beloved city. In 1967, with the capture of the Old City, Jerusalem was reunited, becoming "the eternal capital of Israel." Still, the longing for peace is unfulfilled. in the time of both the first and second temples;
According to legend, Noah sent out a dove on the 17th of Tammuz to see if the flood waters had calmed and if the mountaintops were visible. But the bird returned, signaling that there was no dry place to rest.
The Three Weeks is a sustained period of mourning over the destructions of both temples. It begins on the 17th of Tammuz, the day of the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem, and ends on Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av), the day of the destruction of the temples. It is customary to refrain from holding weddings or other celebrations during this period.
Machlah, Noa, Choglah, Milcah, and Tirzah – The Daughters of Zelophehad. We read parashat (The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. portion) Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) during the month of Tammuz. In this parasha we learn that a man named Zelophehad has died without leaving male heirs to inherit his portion of the land of Canaan. Zelophehad’s five daughters declare that the land should not be lost to their family because there are no sons. Instead, they assert: “Give us a holding (of land) among our father’s kinsman!” In the end, God approves of the daughters’ claim, commands that Zelophehad’s land be transferred to them, and institutes a new law: “If a man dies without leaving a son, you shall transfer it to his daughters. If he has no daughter, you shall assign his property to his brothers ….”
Machlah, Noah, Choglah, Milcah, and Tirzah remind us of the many Jewish women past and present who have joined together to instigate, lead, and ultimately win battles for women’s rights. May their example inspire us to organize to fight injustice.
It is a Jewish custom to welcome a new homeowner into her home with bread and salt. Try eating a variety of breads to celebrate Zelophehad’s daughters’ victory in gaining rights to inherit a part of their homeland.