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Lessons from The Moon

02/01/2020 11:52:22 AM


Rabbi Mordechai Bookbinder


I grew up in a small town, essentially at the base of a ski hill. I can remember spending many Sundays bundling up to go skiing. For the first while, I spent more time getting up off the ground (having fallen down) then actually standing on my skis. It was only through perseverance (and being made fun of by an older sibling) that I was actually able to learn how. 

There’s a famous quote from Mishlei (Proverbs) that says “Sheva yipol tzaddik v’kam” – the righteous fall (at least) seven times and still get up. (Whether or not the righteous also ski, I can’t comment...) 

In this week’s Parsha, Parshas Bo, HaShem teaches Moshe the first commandment for the Jewish People as a nation – to observe the Sanctification of the New Moon. Since this time, we, the Jews, have always been likened to the Moon. 

The Moon has no light of its own; likewise, the brilliance and splendor of the Jewish people is not our own doing, but rather comes from G-D Himself who bathes us in His light. The Moon waxes and wanes – so too with the Jewish people. We have had times in history of great success and have reached the highest heights, and then we have also fallen to the lowest depths. Yet, that doesn’t stop us from getting back up again. No matter how many times we may be made to feel small, no matter how many times we may fall, shortly thereafter, we are on the rebound, climbing back up that mountain, growing once again to our full brilliance. 

The next time you see a full moon, think of the Jewish people, think of your own innate potential to accomplish amazing things, ... and maybe think of a ski hill. 

Have an amazing Shabbos

Sun, September 24 2023 9 Tishrei 5784