Royal Messages: Using Our Influence
“The moon will be humiliated and the sun will be shamed for God, Master of Legions, will have reigned in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and there will be honor for His elders.” (Isaiah 24:23)
It was said of R. Eleazar b. Dordia that he did not leave out any harlot in the world without coming to her. Once, on hearing that there was a certain harlot in one of the towns by the sea who accepted a purse of denarii for her hire, he took a purse of denarii and crossed seven rivers for her sake. As he was with her, she blew forth breath and said: As this blown breath will not return to its place, so will Eleazar b. Dordia never be received in repentance. He thereupon went, sat between two hills and
mountains and exclaimed: O, ye hills and mountains, plead for mercy for me! They replied: How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves, for it is said, For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed! So he exclaimed: Heaven and earth, plead ye for mercy for me! They,too, replied: How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves,for it is said, For the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment. He then exclaimed: Sun and moon, plead ye for mercy for me! But they also replied: How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves, for it is said, Then the moon shall be confounded and the sun and the sun
ashamed. He exclaimed: Ye stars and constellations, plead ye for mercy for me! Said they:: How shall we pray for thee? We stand in need of it ourselves, for it is said, And all the hosts of heaven shall moulder away. Said he: The matter then depends upon me alone! Having placed his head between his knees, he wept aloud until his soul departed. Then a bath-kol was heard proclaiming: ‘Rabbi Eleazar b. Dordai is destined for the life of the world to come!’ (Avodah Zarah 17a)
The Talmud teaches that the shame and humiliation of the sun and the moon will be a reflection of the damage they have suffered by our sins. When God reigns in Jerusalem there will be such clarity that all will see how we misused His creation each time we sinned.
On Rosh Hashana, the day of God’s coronation as king, He judges all of creation, and considers how we have used His gifts to serve Him or to do only as we desired.