Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sanhedrin 42a - Kiddush LeVana

There seems to be a very interesting paradox that we find in the bracha of kiddush le'vana. On one hand the bracha focuses on the predictability of the moon and its obedience to the will of Hashem - חוק וזמן נתן להם שלא ישנו את תפקידם. Yet, there is an excitement - ששים ושמחים לעשות רצון קונם. Beyond the excitement, there is even a focus on the renewal, the chiddush - וללבנה אמר שתתחדש. The moon on one hand symbolizes absolute robotic devotion without any slight deviation, but at the same time it symbolizes hischadshus. It represents an ability of renewal and rejuvenation, that is accompanied with a simcha and rejoicing. How can the two concepts co-exist?
Human nature is to always seek excitement which is defined as something novel, that has never been explored before. The simcha comes from the ability to create or reveal a concept or idea that was previously hidden. Very little joy is found in the monotonous repetition and revisiting a road that is well traveled and fully explored. The moon teaches us that this may be human nature and a self serving method of serving our creator, but in the eyes of Hashem, chiddush is not the be all and end all. The moon manages to find it's joy in the service of Hashem. The ששים ושמחים is not self-serving, it is not happiness that emanates from a feeling of accomplishment, rather, it is completely tied and dependent on the לעשות רצון קונם. The moon finds joy in thwe awareness that it is doing the ratzon of it's creator day in and day out. Surely, chiddush is important and Hashem want man to be a creator, but that is only a possibility after the basics have been established. Chiddush in Torah for example can only exist after a mastery of the basic material that has been learned a thousand times before. The true avodas hashem is to master the original material so that we have the tools to build and be me'chadesh with. Furthermore, the moon represents a chiddush that emanates directly from a very predictable existence. The moon serves as an example for klal yisroel that only through complete and total devotion to Torah and Mitzvos, to a point where we are לא ישנו את תפקידם, will Hashem reward us with an עטרת תפארת לעמוסי בטן, renew our existence by taking us out of the galus that we are in to be לפאר ליוצרם על שם כבוד מלכותם, and restore the glory to the great name of Hashem.

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