Monday, September 12, 2011

Goodbye Moon

I thought that I would share the following beautiful thought that has relevance to this week's Haftarah. Monthly, when we sanctify the new moon we state, "To the moon He said that it should renew itself as a crown of splendor for those borne from the womb, those who are destined to renew themselves like it, etc." This sentence is a reference to the Jewish nation and is discussing the renewal that we will experience in the times of Mashiach.

Rav Yehonasan Eibshitz zt"l provides the following elucidation of this by discussing the monthly lunar motion and luminescence. The moon orbits Earth every month. During this time it appears to shine upon the Earth while it waxes and wanes. In reality, the moon has no light of its own, it merely reflects sunlight. Additionally, the moon is not really growing or shrinking, rather, the angle that it is relative to Earth only allows us to see a portion of its sunlit side. In fact, half of the moon (what we would refer to as a full moon) is always fully illuminated; it is we that are unable to see this throughout most of the month. When the moon's light appears to be completely lost what is really happening is that it is between us and the sun. Therefore, the sunlight is reflected back to the direction of the sun and none of it is able to be perceived by those of us here.

Rav Eibshtiz then applies this information to Klal Yisrael. Klal Yisrael has a beautiful shine and radiance that is always permeating within us. The reason why this is not always perceptible is because we have too many sins. If we begin to distance ourselves from our sins then our shine will begin to be noticed. Similarly, as the moon distances itself from the sun its light can be seen.

In the future we will be renewed and no longer have our ups and downs of waxing and waning. Thus, the renewal itself will be comparable to the moon, but once it is complete the lunar motion will no longer represent us. We will no longer wane, rather, there will be no cessation to our shining. This is why this week's Haftarah states, "The sun will no longer be for you the light of day and the moon will not illuminate for you; Hashem will be an eternal light for you, etc." (Yeshaya 60:19) We will no longer be compared to the moon whose light is reflected from the sun thereby causing it not only to grow but to shrink. We will have the light of Hashem bestowed upon and its glory will not cease. May we merit these days in the near future!

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