One incident - trying prevent a potential accident as I intervened with a fairly chutzpadik kid to stop him from throwing passionfruits at passing buses - is the type of interaction hasn't happened to me for years. The other - a car zooming by me anyway as I stood in the middle of the street on a crosswalk and clearly motioning them to STOP so that I could help 3 little boys waiting to cross the street - has never happened to me before.
(And anyway, drivers who see kids waiting to cross often stop of their own accord. Buses here sometimes even swing around to block both lanes of traffic until the kids are safely across the street.)
And these 2 incidents happened within 15 minutes of each other.
What is going on?
How can that kid be such a knucklehead?
And how can two middle-aged ladies in sheitels be so callous?
And why was I responding like an atheist? (By "atheist," I mean, as far as the intensity and duration of my inner rage - as if the events happened on their own without Hashem intending them to happen that way. I certainly don't regret telling the kid to stop nor do I regret my rebuking hand gestures and facial expression to the ladies as they sped by - even if maybe the sun was in their eyes or their brakes weren't working or whatever.)
Hours later, I remembered the Kli Yakar on Parshat Devarim 1:1.
Astrologically speaking, Tammuz is "the month whose sign is Sartan [the Crab] in that his nature is to go backwards. And so they [the Jews] went backwards...."
Historically, Jews end up committing some pretty big sins in Tammuz, like the Sin of the Golden Calf.
So I'm not really turning into a crazed avenger and those people aren't necessarily bad seed, per se; we're all just regressing under Tammuz's "crabby" mazal. (Ha!)
Yet the Gemara tells us Ein mazal l'Yisrael: Astrological forces cannot overpower a Jew.
Therefore, in Parshat Bo, the Kli Yakar reassures us that for those who:
- fear Hashem
- think about His Name
- and keep the mitzvot,
And that is the way to keep going straight ahead despite the disorienting forces of this month's mazal.