Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Eternal Cycles

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

"And God created the two great lights, the sun to serve during the day and the moon to serve during the night...And God saw that what He created was good (tov)." (Bereshith 1:16, 18)

Each month when the new moon first appears we must recite a blessing in which we proclaim that God is true, therefore His actions are true. How does the reappearance of the moon express the truth of God's actions? Furthermore, our Sages tell us that when a person recites this blessing with the proper intention it is as if he greeted the Divine Presence.1 Why is so much significance attributed to this particular blessing?

Every month the moon seemingly disappears, only to return the following month. Within the consistent and unchanging cycles of the moon, we see clearly that the handiwork of God is true. The perpetual repetition of this pattern can bring us to the ultimate recognition that the Creator Himself is True.2 Because the lunar cycles can make such a striking impression, our Sages compared making this blessing to greeting the Divine Presence itself.

The antithesis of this consistency is false testimony, when people create a bogus reality through their own fabrications. Consequently, the Gemara says that if the Jewish People offer false testimony in a beith din, they are punished with an eclipse of the Moon.3 Since they have associated themselves with falsehood, God reciprocates in a manner which parallels their behavior, by altering the usual functioning of His creation.4

1. Sanhedrin 42a.

2. Rashi ibid.

3. Sukkah 29a

4. In this day and age we may think that an eclipse of the moon is not an interruption of the continuous functioning of creation. We consider it a normal, natural and predictable part of the functioning of creation, so how can it be a punishment for anything? The answer to this conundrum revolves around the issue of yediah (foreknowledge) and bechirah (free choice). God knows who will offer false testimony, and when that will take place, so therefore He specifically etched lunar eclipses into the universe at those times. The fact that we can predict it does not mean that it is not a punishment.

Priceless Integrity, Copyright © 2001 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and

Subscribe to Priceless Integrity and receive the class via e-mail.



View Complete List

From Dust To G-dliness
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5764

Simchas Torah : My Son, The Stranger
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

After Six Comes Seven
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

To Sit in the Sukkah
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

To Learn and to Teach
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

The Joy of Living in a Sukka
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

> Success is a Lifelong Effort
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

A Walk in the Garden
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

More than One G-d?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

"If He Does Not Merit", Then "Opposite Him"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

A Perfect Cycle
- 5768

In The Beginning
Shlomo Katz - 5763


Sweat, Tears, Toil
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

In the Bias of the Beholder
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Concentric Circles:Contrasting Worlds
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Permanent Assets
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5766

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information