Saturday, February 12, 2011

Let's pray to the Moon - not

Tonight was Kiddush Levanah, the monthly sanctification of the New Moon, as much as we can without a central court to actually establish the new moon. Lacking that, we have had the fixed calendar since about 325 CE, and we say prayers in honor of the lunar cycle each month.

My problem with the prayer is that there are one or two lines that seem (no matter how much apologists try to defend them, or say they're referring to God) to be directed to the Moon as if it were a separate (if subsidiary) Power. There certainly are midrashim that portray the Sun and Moon as self-willed entities, and since they're in the heavens, it would seem that that implies that they are powers subservient to God.

Which inspired the following:

Oh Selene, with your rays so white
Reflecting Helios' starry light.
God created you, to rule the night
Along with the stars, to whom we don't pray "Starlight, star bright."

which more or less reflects what saying the prayer feels like.

"Just as I dance towards you but cannot reach you, so may my enemies be unable to touch me." - a line from the prayer, carefully enwrapped with other lines talking about God and Israel.

Oh, well, it's an excuse to say an extra kaddish, which I'm sure Dad's soul could use during his up to eleven months in Gehinnom.

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