“In The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, Volume 2, R’ Zvi Ryzman takes sometimes esoteric and even mystical teachings and grounds them securely into our own lives.”
I am reading The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, Volume 2, by R’ Zvi Ryzman, and I am deeply moved and profoundly impressed.
I chose, a bit childishly I admit, to begin with the month of Tammuz – my birthday month. And in these pages I discovered such a richness of Torah thought, so many unexpected connections, hints, and insights, it took my breath away.
Here I discovered the paradox of the month of Tammuz, and the essence of the month as reflected in the unique physical features of its constellation, the Crab. I learned how in Tammuz we journey from the perfection of Gan Eden to our own imperfect world, and back again. Good and evil, failure and renewal, Jewish history and Jewish destiny – so many concepts and ideas, all brilliantly and lucidly explained.
R’ Zvi Ryzman, author of the highly-acclaimed The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months has followed up that brilliant work with this new, highly original volume. The author, like his books, is unique. He is a winner of the coveted Jerusalem Prize for his many volumes of the Hebrew Ratz K’tzvi , which the two volumes of The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months are based upon. He is an authority on rarely explored halachic subjects, and his contagious love of learning sweeps up everyone with whom he comes in contact. He is also a well-known figure in business circles, and a supporter of many Torah institutions; the personification of the concept of “Torah v’gedulah,” Torah and business success.
In both his books, R’ Zvi draws upon a veritable constellation of sources: from Sefer Yetzirah (whose authorship is ascribed to Avrohom Avinu) and the Midrash to contemporary gedolim – and hundreds of sefarim in between. He explores the Hebrew months — and the constellations that both reflect and influence them — as well as the connection between the shevatim and the Jewish calendar. And then he takes these sometimes esoteric and even mystical teachings and grounds them securely into our own lives and actions. Fascinating!
A personal confession: What with the stifling heat of the Tammuz summer, the 17th of Tammuz that begins the Three Weeks, and the rather unpleasant connotations of crabs (!) I never liked my birth month. But now, having seen it through the eyes of Chazal and Torah, through the eyes, yes, of emes, I will not only mark my birthday, but I will celebrate my birth month, with all its complexity and grandeur.