The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.
In speaking on the parsha this evening, R' Frand made reference to the famous medrash which recounts the moon's complaint to Hashem that "two rulers cannot wear the same crown." The complaint arose from the fact that at the time of creation, both the sun and moon had their own sources of light. Hashem responded to the moon and said - you are correct, go and reduce yourself.
After the moon punished itself, the medrash explains that Hashem said to the moon, "don't feel bad about being called small, since David and Yaakov will be called small." Furthermore, Hashem said to the moon, since you made yourself small, I will give you billions upon billions of stars which will come out with you at night.
R' Frand asked - where do we find that Hashem punishes someone and then says, I feel bad about this, so here is a consolation prize? Why should there be any regret about the punishment when the moon did not act properly?
R' Frand answered by making reference to Chikrei Lev (R' Leibel Hyman) who says that when Hashem told the moon to make itself smaller, Hashem left it up to the moon to determine how much smaller it would become. The moon could have made itself just 5% smaller. And why did the moon decide to give up its own source of light? This was not part of the punishment.
R' Frand explained that the moon's actions are a true showing of teshuva. The moon felt bad for its statement and went out of its way to demonstrate its sincere regret by making itself much smaller and without its own source of light. Hashem recognized the true teshuva and the manner in which the moon showed contrition. It is for this reason that Hashem gave the moon the stars to accompany it at night.
R' Frand next quoted another medrash on Bereishis which he said needs to be understood as a metaphor. The medrash writes that the clothing which was made for Adama and Chava from "cosnos or" was actually made from the shedded skin of the snake which had given Chava the apple. R' Frand noted that the snake's motivation for its action was because the snake observed Adam and Chava's relationship and was jealous.
The lesson from the snake's actions is that jealousy comes from looking at the private affairs of others which should remain hidden. R' Frand linked this to a gemara in Taanis which states that a ba'al lashon hara is compared to a snake. What does the speaker gain from spreading secrets which should remain hidden? There is no upside in doing this and it only comes from knowing and being aware of secrets which should not be known.
R' Frand quoted the Tolner Rebbi who explains that the lesson of the clothing made from the snake's skin is that Hashem took the cover from the snake and used it to cover Adam and Chava's nakedness. In so doing, their privacy was protected and covered and the snake which had grown jealous based on his watching Adam and Chava was left uncovered.
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