Dear Friends of the Moon,
Lately our Jewish people, and our world's people, have felt the onset of darkness: hate, violence and cruelty. But, darkness can also be creative, healing and frisky. What role does darkness play in your life, in your home, in your world?
In the Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 8a, our rabbis imagine the first earthling ever created, Adam. The identity of Adam is ungendered, plural, and stems organically from the Hebrew word for earth, adamah.
Adam, the only human in the world at the time, sits as the world grows darker and darker, colder and colder. Adam sits for what turns out to be eight days and fasts and mourns, implicated by the dark sky and hushed world.
At the end of these eight long, treacherous nights, there is solstice. Light dawns and the days become more luminous rather than looming. As the light increases, Adam celebrates with joy and dancing, eating latkes (oh wait, that came later) and for eight days Adam revels in the fresh light.
Adam, portrayed here in the Talmud, is organically connected with the cosmos. Adam’s experience is theurgic, connected like a pulse to the rhythm of light/the Divine in the world, turning or like a blossom turning towards the light, retreating in the night.
Can you imagine being so connected with the cosmos, like the pull of the moon on the tides? Especially when our world can feel armored and harsh, imagine for a moment being aligned with a deeper pulse, that your heart is tethered to the Heart of the Universe.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas about Kislev, which begins at sunset on November 9th. A reminder for all of us - Kislev contains the darkest days but also hints towards Spring fresh light.
Below you'll find tools to support you during Kislev.
Wishing you and yours, cozy nights and vivid days.
Rabbi Alyson Solomon