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The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow

on Friday, October 12 2012. Posted by Rabbi Efrem Goldberg
They say the residents of a particular place are the least likely to visit or enjoy the local attractions.   Just a few miles east of us is one of God’s most impressive and inspiring creations – His Atlantic Ocean.   Once a month BRS hosts a magnificent Sunrise Minyan at the beach.  Our Rabbis identified the moment of sunrise as the most auspicious time to recite the Amidah and appeal to the Almighty for our needs.  

Just this Friday morning we had a wonderful crowd who had the privilege of looking out at the seemingly endless ocean, listening to the waves crash and watching the beautiful orange ball of the Sun peek up over the horizon, all while describing God as gadol, gibor and nora’ah, great, mighty and wondrous.  

After God created the luminaries, this week’s parsha describes, He looked at His creations and “vayar Elokim ki tov, and God saw that it was good.”  What was good? Don Yitzchak Abarbanel (14th c.) explains that God impressed Himself, so to say, with the level of detail and the perfection of His system.  Nearly 700 years later, we can appreciate more than anyone that came before us just how intricate, vast and detailed the Solar System is.  Scientists believe there are up to 400 billion stars in our galaxy.  Furthermore, they estimate there are as many as 100 billion galaxies.  It is difficult to even contemplate that many stars.

Despite the thousands of billions of stars, and despite the vastness and expanse of the universe, Hashem has a name for every star as we say in davening daily – “moneh mispar la’kochavim, l’chulam sheimos yikra – He counts the number of stars, to all of them He assigns names.”   God told Avraham that his children would be compared to the stars.  Just as God knows each and every star by name, so too, does he care about each one of us and our individual lives.

The paradigm of the luminary that is most beneficial to us and yet most taken for granted is the Sun.  The Sun is a most remarkable and extraordinary presence in our lives.   Without the Sun, life on Earth could simply not exist.  Earth would be a frozen dark ball, drifting in space.  We need the Sun for light, heat and energy.  Only due to the presence of the Sun can plants grow, and can humans and the animal kingdom exist and have what to eat.

Yes, the Abarbanel was correct, perhaps even more than he knew.   The earth is 93 million miles away from the sun.  If we were just 5 million miles closer to the sun, the temperature would rise to 900 degrees Fahrenheit andlike on Venus, life could not exist.  If we were 5 million miles farther from the sun, carbon dioxide would permeate the upper atmosphere and ice would cover the planet sterilizing it from life, like on Mars.  “Va’yar Hashem ki tov, and God saw that it was good”…indeed!

The Sun can teach us one more important lesson.  With all the many variables in our lives, look up at that Sun and realize that there are some constants we can depend on.  The Sun rises every single day.  It is never late, it never stands us up and it never disappoints us.   Some days it hides behind the clouds and is barely discernible.  On other days, its powerful rays shine down.  But every single day, 365 days a year since creation itself, the Sun is there and reminds us by extension, that so is its Creator – Hashem.

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