The Temple Institute: Temple Talk: Tammuz 1, 5766/June 26, 2006

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz & the Rebellion of Korach

Rosh Chodesh, the sighting of the new moon marking the beginning of the Hebrew month was celebrated in The Holy Temple with special Rosh Chodesh offerings. To this day it is marked in our daily prayer with the singing of the Hallel and the Musaf service. It is a also understood to be a unique opportunity to do teshuva - make repentance. The month of Tammuz, a month associated with the divine quality of harsh judgment, is the month during which the twelve princes of the tribes of Israel sent by Moses spent their days studying the land and its inhabitants from up close. Having left the Israelite encampment of the last day of the month of Sivan, they would not return to report to Moses until the ninth day of the month of Av, a full forty days later. Each and every day of the month of Tammuz was spent compounding their sin. G-d decreed that the months of Av and Tammuz would pay the price for the sin of the spies against the Land of Israel, and it was during this period that the two Holy Temples were destroyed. While the month of Av begins in darkness, a spiritual upturn does occurs on the fifteenth day of the month. The month of Tammuz, however, remains bitter from start to finish, complicit, as it were, with the impending disaster of the destruction of the Holy Temple. So it is fair to say that Rosh Chodesh Tammuz is an especially propitious time for doing teshuva, as part of our desire to regain control of our destiny, and rebuild G-d's Holy Temple.

What does all this have to do with Korach, the antagonist of this (past) week's Torah reading by the same name? (Numbers 16:1 - 18:32) To learn that answer to this question, we urge you to listen to this week's TEMPLE TALK broadcast, with Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven.

Click to hear:

Part 1
Part 2