My rabbi, Ariana Katz, texted me one day, “Okay, Kohenet, let’s do this Kiddush Levanah ritual! What have you got?” I had no idea, but was pleased to learn Kiddush Levanah is a moon ritual that happens outside, at night, when the moon is waxing (between the third and fourteenth nights of the new month). Several members of our shul gathered together on a cold, dark Saturday night, then sang songs, jumped toward the moon to ask for good fortune, and greeted each other with peace. We’ve added this ritual to our regular liturgy.
On the occasion of my first Birkat Levanah ritual
Mmm? It does not sit well with me:
the moon at her vanity, pouting and powdering her round face. Counter-offered prizes piling up because she is not pulled by Apollo across the sky.
Moon as jilted lover? Diminished in the patriarchy’s midrash.
She blows a whistle, pointing out duplicity,
and is silenced by spiritual consolation acquiescence—Rosh Chodesh.
This is not My Mother Moon, the one who guides my way through the delicious dark.
Might the Moon, noting two lights, have decided to be ever changing?
Choosing to ebb and flow with the tides, with the winds, with the rhythm of all life?
Maybe the Moon peeked the pricelessness of becoming and becoming and becoming . . . to be
in process, in motion, in opposition to the constant rise and set of the sun.
Maybe the Moon moves with Tzimtzumi — the cyclical dance of shifting dimensions.
Relational illusions of largesse and smallness twirl around the truth;
She is whole no matter what is visible to the eye.
My Moon is shadow casting: luscious, deep, sweet.
Maybe the Moon realized witnessing is a gift to the speaker and the listener. To the beholder and the beheld.
Maybe the Moon is the beloved of The Divine. They are wrapped in an undulating embrace.
Moon is then set free to rule the night, to frolic with the foxes, to travel adventurous throughout time and space. Enveloped in the ever-unfolding potential of that which is not yet what it is meant to be.
Mother Moon, in her consistent inconsistency, embodies the Divinity of Change. Diminishment is
a trick of mirrors and smoke.
Our Moon is unbound longing, reaching, stretching, leaning, loving, jumping toward the heavens; climbing outside of and falling into our stardust sovereign selves.
Mother Moon. Muse.
Dr. Harriette E. Wimms is a Maryland licensed clinical psychologist who provides compassion-infused mental health care to children, adolescents, adults, and families. Kohenet Wimms is a prayer leader in both the Kohenet community and Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl. She is the driving force behind Hinenu JOC, the Baltimore JOC Community Havurah, the Jews of Color Mishpacha Project, and the JOCMP’s Jews of Color National (Virtual) Shabbaton program. She is currently a Keshet contract trainer, a Kesher mentor, and a member of the Seleh Jewish Leadership Fellowship program, JOC cohort 17. A community connector, Dr. Wimms is a proud, Fat, Disabled,Queer, Black, Jew by Choice, and is most proud of being mother to her 17-year-old son.