Job – Chapter 25

Moonshine

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Bildad responds to Job:

“Control and fear are in G-d’s hands. He’s the One Who makes peace between fire and water in Heaven. Are His angels limited in number? Is there anyone in the universe to whom G-d’s reach does not extend? You say that if G-d tested you, you would be found to be as pure as gold, but how can a mere mortal hope to be deemed righteous in G-d’s sight?”

“If G-d removes the moon, it won’t shine. Even the stars are not pure before Him! So how can a lowly person, whose end is to be consumed by worms and maggots, expect to impress Him?”

Astronomically speaking, Bildad is quite correct: If G-d removed the moon from its place, it wouldn’t shine. That’s because the moon doesn’t generate any light of its own; it merely reflects light from the sun. If it were no longer adjacent to the sun, it would cease to shine. (You have to be at least a little impressed that Bildad knew that!)

The latter half of verse 2, Oseh Shalom Bimromav (“The One Who makes peace in His Heights”) is quoted in the conclusion of both Shemoneh Esrei and Kaddish.

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