Sukkot is a holiday that is celebrated with a full moon. Our grandchildren built and decorated their sukkah before we arrived in town. We sang all the brachot (blessings), drank wine, and ate challah in the sukkah. The entire time no one said anything about the moon.
One of the children’s stories did, though. It was a story about a little boy who was a bit frightened to sleep out in the sukkah with his sister. The story ends with the stars and the moon acting as natural night lights for the children. The imagery is beautiful. Toward the end of the evening I went out to get something from the car. Ilan came with me, and there in the sky was the moon, just peeking out from the top of the house next door. When it was time for me to leave, the moon was much higher. I shared this information with Ilan the next day. Then as luck would have it, Ilan, his Saba (grandfather), and I had another great view of the moon.
As we were leaving the next night, we saw the moon even higher up in the sky, as it was later in the night. The bottom of the moon was barely showing out of the covering of a dark cloud. Quickly, though, the cloud moved away so we could see the entire moon glowing brightly in the night sky. Just as quickly, it was gone again, behind another cloud.
I wonder what Ilan thinks is really happening. Does the moon move, or is it the clouds? I also wonder what he thinks about the relationship of the moon to Sukkot. To me it all parallel’s Heschel’s concept of radical amazement. There really is no need for any scientific explanation at this time of year.