BIRKAT HACHAMA: THE SUN AND THE MOON IN TANDEM
By Sherrie B. Miller
Much ado is being made about the impending blessing over the sun, intriguing, as it occurs only once every 28 years! In comparison, the Kiddush levana, blessing over the moon, occurs once each month.
Breishit 1:14 states that Hashem created two equally great lights “in the firmament of Heaven to divide the day from the night.” Only in verse 16, is there a reference to a greater and a lesser light, the sun and the moon as we know it today.
According to the Midrash, the moon complained and posited that “2 kings cannot rule with one crown,” and that one light ought to be greater in size than the other.
Surprisingly, Hashem was persuaded to heed the words of the Moon, but to its dismay, the Moon was commanded to constrict itself, as it was the one who was dissatisfied with the status quo. Even more amazing, is the conclusion of the Midrash asserting that Hashem was not totally pleased with this restructuring of His plan, and pledges to bring a Sin offering for agreeing to this change!
What lesson are we meant to learn from this unusual and fascinating midrash?
If we take a close look at the Creation, we will notice that Hashem created everything in pairs, for example, heaven and earth, day and night, good and evil, this world and the world to come, the sun and the moon, and ultimately, Man and Woman.
The Midrash cited above is interpreted as an allegory to describe different but equal components of Man and Woman with the Sun symbolizing Man and the Moon symbolizing Woman.
Let’s keep in mind however, that in the Kiddush Ha Levana, reference is made to the end of days, when the two great lights will return to being equal in size.
In the Kabbalistic liturgy, G-d as it were, contracted Himself (tzimzum) in order to make space for the World and Mankind to exist. This was in clearly not a demotion, but an act that required strength and complete confidence
So what has all this got to do with dating and marriage?
The devastating state of turmoil and confusion the world is in, that has brought about the misguided trend that urges the break down of barriers, has led to a “unisex” generation where man and woman not only look alike, but think and behave alike. Man and Woman have forgotten their true and deepest essence, the core of their being.
It is no wonder that world famous marriage therapist, John Gray, has written his latest best-seller: “When Mars and Venus Collide.” All the damage done by the Feminist movement to prove that women are capable of doing everything that men can do, has created an environment of fierce competition both at home and in the workplace. Women, asserts Gray, are now returning home from a hard day at the office, in an environment of stress, overloaded with testosterone and finding it exceedingly difficult to re-capture their more natural and inborn levels of oxytocin, the nurturing hormone that is released when women are caring for the loved ones.
Woman like the Moon are naturally receivers, nurturers and caretakers that reflect that love on to those who are near and dear to them. This is a biological fact as well, vis a vis the reproductive system.
Women are in a constant cycle of change and renewal giving vitality to those around them, similar to the Moon.
The Male-Sun is the stable “mashpia”, bestowing light and giving radiance to the world.
This Chassidic concept of “mashpia-mekabel” is employed in the relationship between Hashem and the Jewish People as well.
We are receiving the beneficence of Hashem with eager anticipation, while He holds our longing in His highest esteem, which creates a mutual desire.
There is a great deal that can be learned by this association. We ought to try at this Chag HaPessach, the springtime and time of renewal to return to our essence each of us male and female respectively.
We ought to continue to develop ourselves to the utmost, while remembering that our maximum potential can only be brought into being when my counterpart, my zivug, complements it.
This is why we recite “yotzer ha-adam” under the Chuppah instead of at birth: our true and integral creation is when we return to a whole, male and female entity.
When Moshe told Pharoh in G-d’s name: “Shlach et ami,” let my people go, it was a message for all generations: remember your Shlichut! Remember that you were created to be partners with Hashem in creation and through Marriage, in a state of wholeness, completion and complementary synergy you will bring the redemption and usher in the era of Moshiach!
Chag Kasher v’Sameach
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish Matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai.com and works with Jewish Singles all over the world. She is an educational guidance counselor, group leader, pre-marital coach, matchmaker and Judaic Studies teacher. Sherrie is dedicated to promoting and enhancing emotional intelligence and communication skills in conjunction with Torah values.
Sherrie received her educational counseling degree from the Michlalah in Bayit Vegan and an M.A. in Education and Counseling from Touro College, Jerusalem, Israel. Sherrie also holds a B.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Brooklyn College and a B.Sc. from Yeshiva University in Jewish Education. Sherrie is certified by Midreshet Emunah and is accredited by the Rabbanut of Israel, to be a pre-marital couple’s counselor and Kallah teacher.
Before coming to Israel in 1989 from Great Neck, New York, Sherrie taught Judaic Studies at the North Shore Hebrew Academy. Sherrie also educated affiliated and unaffiliated adults through the “Project Identity” outreach program under the directorship of Rabbi Yaakov Lerner. Sherrie trained individuals and couples in the laws of Kashrut, Guidelines of Parenting, Parshat Shavua and Pirkei Avot.
In her work as a Guidance Counselor in the national religious “Mamad” school, "Yehuda Halevi", Sherrie instructed life skill workshops to students, parents and teachers, with a focus on communication, conflict resolution and anger management. She also leads support groups for children of divorce.
Sherrie is certified by the Life Center and leads Parenting workshops based on the Faber/Mazlish workshops on, “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk”
Sherrie is an executive board member of the Emunah World Zionist Organization, Mibreishit, led by Rav Motti Alon, and Nishmat led my Rabbanit Hanna Henkin.
Sherrie’s diverse background in counseling and teaching, combined with torah principles and values contribute to the depth and quality of her success with clients. Lessons drawn from her own life transitions make her coaching perspective uniquely inspirational. Sherrie helps individuals clarify their goals and take masterful action steps to reach them. Sherrie is professionally known for her guidance in the educational system as well as her outstanding capabilities teaching interpersonal relationship skills to groups and individuals.
Having made a number of successful matches resulting in marriage, Sherrie volunteers as a matchmaker for SawYouAtSinai, an internet matchmaking site.