Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Next Week's Eclipse

As next week's solar eclipse approaches I couldn't help but think of a quick thought that I mentioned in the appendix of The Secrets of the Stars. It is interesting to see that in the year of the Exodus as Klal Yisrael were approaching Har Sinai there was a solar eclipse, too. That eclipse occurred on Rosh Chodesh Sivan just as this upcoming one will happen in close proximity to that date.

Solar eclipses always occur on or very near to Rosh Chodesh because in order for them to happen the sun, moon, and earth must be in a straight line, syzygy (note: this is a great Scrabble word). This alignment is, by definition, a molad. Due to the fact that our calendar is based on calculations and estimates, the calculated molad and the actual molad can fall on different dates. Thus, eclipses do not always occur on Rosh Chodesh itself.

As the pesukim teach us, we battled Amalek in the second half of the month of Iyar. On the first of Sivan we camped, in united fashion, at Sinai and were given the Torah shortly afterwards. The solar eclipse that occurred on that Rosh Chodesh would have been recognized as being extremely symbolic. Chazal teach that such eclipses symbolize bad tidings for the other nations of the world. Klal Yisrael, often seen as being represented by the moon metaphorically, would be seen as blocking the light of the sun, often considered to metaphorically represent the other nations.

After decimating the superpower of the world, Egypt, and the battling our formidable foe, Amalek, we were about to receive that which defines us and our destiny the Torah. Sandwiched in between these events was a demonstrable event that displayed that there was to be a new nation to shed light unto the world Klal Yisrael. May we soon merit to live up to that very high standard which is required of us!

No comments: