In this week’s parsha, we read about the first mitzvah in the Torah. The previous commandments were given to individuals; for example, Abraham was given the commandment of circumcision. The first commandment is to calculate the time and dates according to the lunar cycle. Calculating time according to the moon has a lot of inner meaning. Time is precious, and if it is not used properly, it is considered a loss that does not return.
But calculating time according to the moon has another meaning. The moon has phases of rising and waning, disappearance, and rebirth. The sun is relatively constant, not different from day to day. A man may oscillate between ups and downs in the worship of God, which deceives him. He is in some spiritual upheaval. This applies to any single person as well as to the kingship of King Moshiach, which experiences ups and downs until the final and eternal rise in the coming redemption.
Here, the lunar calendar has a lesson for us. The moon descends to the point of its disappearance. But decline is as much a part of life as birth. Decline does not mean disappearance, but renewal. Like the moon, everyone has the power of resurrection—the power to relive in every moment the infinite presence of the infinite Creator. It is part of the first mitzvah for Noah’s sons as well as for Jews. To believe and feel the infinity of the Creator.
A process of change and growth in people is hinted at in the moon’s cycles. The sun, with its brightness, does not change. The changing, evolving, growing, and renewing moon always has a rebirth experience. This is also true in general life. Soon we will all experience the renewal of the entire creation in true and complete redemption.
*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.