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The Systems of the Jewish Year

Beating tonight’s Rare Super Blood Moon Total Eclipse

By Rabbi Sender Haber

The Torah commands us sit in the Sukkah for seven days so that we can remember that G-d put us in Sukkos when we left Egypt.

The commandment is to dwell in the Sukkah as we would in our house. If it is raining, we are not obligated to sit in the Succah. As a matter of fact, the Ramah says that we are fools.

Yet, on the first night we are obligated to sit in the Sukkah even if it is raining. According to many opinions a person could even make a blessing on this sitting.

It seems that the commandment to sit in the succah on the first night is independent of the Mitzvah to treat the Sukkah as our homes.

We fulfill the will of G-d even if it is not comfortable.

In Bereishis (1:14) we read: “And G-d said, let there be lights in the heavens to separate between the day and the night, and they will be for ‘Osos’ and ‘Moadim’; for days and for years”

Rashi explains that ‘osos’ are astrological signs that could G-d forbid herald bad news for the Jewish people and the world. These are mentioned in the Gemara in Succah (29a), particularly a lunar eclipse and a “Blood Moon”.

‘Moadim’, Rashi explains, are the holidays that the Jewish people will one day keep. These are also reckoned by the moon.

Tonight we have a Moed, a holiday that is marked by the moon that in fact it is called the “Harvest Moon” as is appropriate for ‘Chag Ha’asif’ - ‘The Celebration of our Harvest”.

At the same time, we will be experiencing both a lunar eclipse and a Blood Moon.

So, there will be a face-off between the ‘Osos’ – the astrological signs, and the ‘Moadim’ – our mitzvah of Succah.

The Talmud tells us that as long as we are performing the will of G-d we have nothing to fear from the constellations. That is our challenge tonight. We must allow our Moadim to outweigh the natural cycle of the earth. It is a power that we have and a power that we need to utilize. That power that we have is the Simcha and joy of Yom Tov.

May we see only blessing in our lives and may we truly have a joyous Yom Tov.

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