Ben Hametzarim – the fight for life
The three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av are called the period of ben hametzarim, which means ‘between the straits’.
“כָּל-רֹדְפֶיהָ הִשִּׂיגוּהָ, בֵּין הַמְּצָרִים”
“all her pursuers overtook her within the straits (ben hametzarim)”
The sages tell us that on the seventeenth of Tammuz we experience five negative events;
חמשה דברים אירעו את אבותינו בשבעה עשר בתמוז… נשתברו הלוחות. ובוטל התמיד. והובקעה העיר. ושרף אפוסטמוס את התורה. והעמיד/והועמד צלם בהיכל…
1 – The tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai broke as a result of the sin of the Golden Calf.
2 – The Tamid (daily lamb sacrifice) offering stopped to be offered in the Holy temple. The sages tell us that when Jerusalem was under siege, they were lowering bags of gold from the city wall to purchase lambs to sacrifice. One in the morning and one in the evening. An old man advise the enemy that as long as they sell them lambs to offer in the Temple, the Jews have protection and the army wouldn’t be able to break into the city. The next time they received the money they gave back a pig instead of a pure lamb. The priests had to stop the offering and the lack of light stopped the protection that the city had.
3 – The same day the offering stopped, the enemy broke the walls and entered the city, starting to slaughter Jews.
4 – Antiochus IV Epiphanes burnt the Torah scrolls in the holy Temple.
5 – A statue of idol worship was placed in the Holy Temple, desecrating its purity.
The moon is the controlling planet during the month of Tammuz. We are the aspect of the moon because in Malchut we have no light of our own, only what we are able to draw by following the Torah and its precepts. The Shechina is in concealment and we must make greater efforts to bring light and ‘sweeten’ the ‘bitterness’ that exists during this time.
Our sins drain the light that protects us and create ‘holes’ that allow the negative-side to invade our realm and push different aspects of ‘darkness’.
The great chaos in the world today is a direct result of long time of spiritual exile. We were driven into setting priorities to the material and temporary existence instead of nourishing our souls spiritually to have the protection of God.
Even though we see great awakenings to spirituality in the world, in many cases corrupted leaders filled with greed take advantage of their followers’ innocence. Great forces of the other-side have control over governments and push countries into disorder and chaos. Different types of dictatorships form in many countries and the people lose control to the few at the top. This is not a political observation but a description of the outcome of our greed and lack of spiritual connections.
Until the 9th of Av when the control of sun, Zeir Anpin, is growing in the world, we should stop all reactive and negative behavior. Study more and share more, help those in need and give tzedakah as much as we can. We want to reveal light in order to receive protection.
We live in a time of global war between good and evil, especially the war on our minds. There are Satanic forces that try to bend our minds into losing the faith in God and devalue the family structure that is the aspect of continuation. It’s the first precept of the Torah and when we don’t have the family structure that create continuation of light, we see darkness and death.
We should avoid all aspects of division and separation that can bring only darkness. Avoid associations with those who may draw you into fighting for any kind of justice. If it’s a fight of some kind, it’s negative. Remember that choosing opposite side, puts you on the ‘other-side’. The solution to all problems is found by seeking the Light and the balance that comes from the study of Torah, especially through the Zohar.
Together we can reveal great light in the world to block and push away the darkness around us until Mashiach comes and complete the job and remove all negativity from the world. The time has come for redemption, B”H today, Amen.
To offset the negativity established in the past we do the following
1 – Have greater faith and certainty in YHVH.
2 – Study twice a day
3 – Keep ourselves far from negative influence and divisions
4 – Give Tzedakah to increase the aspect of life in yourself and the world.
5 – Make regular prayers and meditations.
“אַתָּה תָקוּם תְּרַחֵם צִיּוֹן כִּי עֵת לְחֶנְנָהּ כִּי בָא מוֹעֵד”
“You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show her favor—the appointed time has come.”
“הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְהוָה אֵלֶיךָ ונשוב [וְנָשׁוּבָה] חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם”
“Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old,”