"The Light of the Moon and the Sun": A Wedding Poem

Joel Rosenberg, 6/24/2005

This wedding poem was written by Joel Rosenberg for the wedding of Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman in 1986. They were married on a day that was both the summer solstice (June 22) and a full moon (15 Sivan) and so in a moment when both the sun and moon were at their fullest.

Their wedding ceremony drew deeply on the symbolism of the traditional midrash that in the Messianic Age, God will restore the moon to its primordial equality with the sun — symbolizing perhaps the achievement of equality of women and men, in empowerment and in spiritual wholeness.

The Light of The Moon and The Sun
by Joel Rosenberg

Be the light of the moon
like the light of the sun,
and the light of the sun
like the light of the moon,
and the light of them both
like the light of the One
who was before the moon and sun.

And the flame of the lamp
like the light of the seers,
and the eyes of the just
like the bloom of the field,
and the coal and the flame
like the beam of the soul
before it leaves the grove of souls.

And the kiss of the wise
like the pillars of dawn
and the blue of the fringe
like the white of the shawl,
and the silver of mind
like the gold of the heart
when the vessels were still

unbroken and whole. Come,
my beloved, my sister, my bride.
0, come, my bridegroom, brother
flame, to my side. Let our light
reunite, let our flame be as one,
like the light of the moon
with the light of the sun.

And may Ishmael's lamp
shine with Isaac's as one,
and may Abraham's wing
fly the arc of our hope.
Let the veils fall away,
let us stand face-to-face
with the splendor of opaline seas.

Let the mouth of the poor
taste the food of the rich,
let the void of the cup
bear the juice of the vine,
let the seventy tongue
speak the language of God.
Let the lion lie down with the lamb.

And the light of the moon
join the light of the sun,
and the river of tale
meet the oceans of song,

and the prophets declare,
and the lovers rejoice,
in the light of the moon and the sun,
in the light of the Boundless — the One.

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