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Are You Done Being Diminished?

It all started back on the 4th day of creation
when God was first layin’
down those early tracks of earth-craft.

Set two chandeliers
swinging sweet
from the ceiling of heaven.
Both beaming like crazy.

One to rule the day and one to rule the night.

And isn’t that nice?
Equal dominions – equally sliced.

Until the very next verse asserts
a slight
so slight
it’s almost imperceptible…

“G-d made the two great luminaries:
the Great to rule the day,
and the SMALL to rule the night.”

And how quickly sweet equilibrium melts away
into a 4-course debate.
The Talmud sits up straight
and gesticulates:

‘Why the sudden disparity?
At first it was 2 greats
…and now suddenly one is small?’
– A subtle shift in linguistics and the whole world falls.

What was once sameness now avalanches into difference.
And the Gemara spells it out all sick & explicit.

The moon is the princess
the sun is the prince.
One destined for greatness
the other for diminishment.

And this metaphor of the ages
has been replayed in women’s most basic
inequalities.

For yes, there IS a glass ceiling
where only the unhamperings of heaven should be.

And history bears ample witness
to the hundred million tales of women
being battered and shattered dreams.
Of unequal compensation,
of rape and ransom
by the not so handsome
hand of mismanaged masculinity.

These are the culture currents we all wade in
but now we are called to weigh in
to confront its contortions
and put an end
to the distorted proportions
of the feminine.

And lo and behold
that’s exactly where the Gemara goes!

The moon protests her smallness
and G!d listens
(argues a bit in defense)
but in the end
apologizes
with honest grit
and earthly means
brings a monthly offering
to atone the misdeed.

*

So feminist nay-sayers follow G!d’s lead.

And tell me — will you be in the camp
that shades their eyes and looks away
when the moon takes her stand
in all of her G!d-given strength?

Will you shush her, shun her, ignore her, abhor her?

Or will you bless that glorious day…
and assist in its establishment with speed and with praise?

Will you see it as a siman tov, a mazal tov,
a good sign that shines forth on a new sky line.

Will you copy your Creator?
Celebrate her
and apologize.

*

And to my sisters I say:

Let us soak in the good news
that’s been brewing
in our very own millennium.

A fortune long foretold
that we women
are destined to shape-shift
a new end to this story.

Our duty – to rise to full stature and station and glory.

The path begins with our own inner sense.

When’s the last time you felt small
weak or worthless?

Was it last week, last night?
Is it endless?

But, tell me, aren’t you worth it?

Aren’t you worth a new paradigm?
Aren’t you worth your loud-voice
let loose, well-juiced, just-in-timed?

Lift your chin to the heavens child
you are interstellar
and styled
bright as Venus
and the Shechina
you’re the Luna
the Diva
the shimmering Kallah
the Shabbas Bride.

Drink in this sweet nextar.
We have arrived.

Be every bit your brothers equal
not his rival.

After all, even G!d apologized.

Be done being diminished.

Forgive yourself for your own smallness.

Harness your Her-ness
your moon’ness.

Embrace your stately greatness
and Shine!

*

Here’s the quote from the Gemara:

Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi explains: Indeed, initially the sun and the moon were equal in greatness and luminance. But then the moon said to G-d: “Master of the Universe! Can two kings wear the same crown?” Said G-d to her, “Go diminish yourself.” Said she to Him, “Master of the Universe! Because I have said a proper thing, I must diminish myself?” Said He to her, “You may rule both in the day and at night.” Said she to Him, “What advantage is there in that? What does a lamp accomplish at high noon?” Said He to her, “The people of Israel shall calculate their dates and years by you.” Said she to Him, “But the sun, too, shall have a part in that, for they shall have to calculate the seasons by it.” ….“Still G-d saw that she was not appeased. So G-d said: “Offer an atonement for My sake, for having diminished the moon.”  (Talmud, Chulin 60b)

 

Isaiah 30:27.  the Torah describes the era of Moshiach as a time when “the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun.”