When Sun Meets Moon – Your weekly feature from Rabbi Gourarie

November 12, 2010 by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
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Most nations use one of two calendar systems. Many cultures have a solar calendar with a year of 365 days. Others, such as Muslims, use a system based entirely on lunar months that last an average of 30 days.

Rabbi Michol Gourarie photo: Henry Benjamin

When the Jewish nation left Egypt they were given a rather unique calendar that combines both systems.  We were told to have lunar months, but that the festivals should follow the solar seasons. Passover takes place on the 15th of the month, but must always be in the northern hemisphere spring. For this reason every few years we add a month to the year to ensure that the lunar and solar cycles are in sync.

One of the great lessons in our system is the importance of balance. The combination of the sun and the moon represent the coming together of different or even opposite approaches and personalities, creating a harmonious balance.

Here are two examples:

a)      Consistency & Flexibility: The sun’s light is constant and strong. Its radiance is a symbol of consistency, conviction and the commitment to be true to our principles and values. But extreme consistency can lead to rigidity, stubbornness and unwillingness to change. The moon’s constant change inspires us to balance our strong unbending values with a dose of healthy flexibility.

b)      Giving and Receiving – The sun gives off intense brightness while the moon has no light of its own. The moon’s merely reflects the light that it receives from the sun.  ‘Giving’ is central to human existence and the energy behind all functional relationships. Charity and helping others are considered the highest ideals. But giving can only happen if there is ‘receiving’ as well. Both giving and taking can be challenging. It is hard to give away something that we worked for and is a part of ourselves. But our ego and insecurities make receiving equally as challenging. But without taking there can be no giving. Just as we must learn to give we must also master the art  of taking. When we learn when and how to receive we make it easier for others to give.

By illuminating your life with both the sun and the moon you achieve a wholesome and complete day.

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