Sight is very important to us. It’s one of our five senses that help us live our lives. It gives us protection from oncoming cars, pleasure from sunsets, and information rom books. Yet from a spiritual point of view sight’s benefit is a bit more abstract.
When your eyes are left up to their own devices they can lead you towards hysicality. Since the world we live in is an illusion, your eyes can be easily tricked and you’ll be drawn towards the desires of the heart, as it says in Numbers 15:39, “Do not turn after your heart and after your eyes.” This is a warning to be on onstant guard not to let your eyes lead you in the wrong direction. After all, most people don’t put candy and Hollywood star magazines on their shopping list. The upermarket is smart and puts them on display where you have to see them, at the checkout counter. Once the “eye sees,” the “heart desires.”
On the other hand, when you turn your eyes towards spirituality they can lead you in the right direction. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and see who created these (stars).” (Isaiah 0:26) If you look at the stars, you can see God’s handiwork and come to know Him. When you see the beauty, the majesty, and the awesomeness of the universe you can’t help but be drawn to the Creator.
It also says in Ecclesiastes 2:14, “A wise man has eyes in his head.” Where else should they be? The idea is that when a person looks at things and thinks, he can become wise. God created the world in a way that leads us towards Him, if we “look” at it properly.
Tammuz, according to Kabbalah, has a strong relationship with the realm of sight. It was in this month that the Jews sinned with the golden calf while waiting for Moses who had gone up Mount Sinai (see Exodus 32). This transgression had a significant impact on the nation that continues to reverberate in our generation. The sages say that one of the causes of the desire to create an idol was a vision the nation had of Moses’ death. They were lead astray by their eyes. They should have realized it was an illusion to trick them. They also fell specifically into the trap of idolatry, which includes the desire to “see” the deity you worship. One of the reasons why people are drawn to idol worship is that it gives them a tangible god. Our definition of God is formless, and non-physical. A formless God
is more difficult to relate to.
Moses broke the tablets he was carrying down from the mountain in front of the Jews to shock them. He used a visual display rather than rebuke to get their attention, as if he knew what area caused them to stray – the eyes. Although a second set of tablets was brought at a later date, the first set was holier. They represented an unattainable spiritual level for us. We want to once again be worthy to receive this higher spiritual light.
That’s what Tammuz is all about. It represents our need to grow and aspire to a eight of spirituality far beyond the potential we see in front of us. We need to visualize a higher plane, and take the necessary practical steps that will lead us to our rightful place; a state of oneness with our Creator. Be careful what you let your gaze rest on. And when you see beauty in the world, let it remind you of God.