Judaism nurtures our purpose in life to make this world a better place (tikkun olam). The work of Tikkun Olam lives in the individual experience, study, adventure & labor of cultivating character traits in the right measure (tikkun midot).
Middah of the month of Tammuz (June 25 – July 23): Natural Beauty/ Creation = Teva/Hadar
“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature…” –Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Teva – Nature’s Divine Impression
Teva in Modern Hebrew, is derived from the letters tet-vet-ayin which have the ancient connotation of a signet ring or stamped coin, both refer to making or having an Imprint. Fractals are self-similar patterns that repeat in the Natural world regardless of scale or form.
In the English language as well as in Arabic, Nature refers to both the Essence or characteristics of a thing, AND the Natural World of material matter, form and pattern. A reflection of the Divine Imprint, or Fractal can be experienced deeply by those who look closely, AND by those who look broadly upon Nature’s Beauty.
As we enjoy the summer month of July (Tammuz) with vacations and outdoor fun, let us engage in the Mussar practice of taking a moment each time to notice and appreciate with a deep breath and feeling of Awe, those infinitely healing connections within the Nature of Nature and within the Nature of one another.
(Bonnie L Houghton, Mountain Mussar)