We bring a sin offering as a 'kapara' for hashem for decreasing the size of the moon. The story goes that the moon said we cant have two 'kings' the same size so I want to be bigger. Hashem says no you will be smaller but to make up for it I give you stars. It seems they didnt exist before that. The moon was still not satisfied it seems stars dont make up for 'size' so hashem says I have to bring a sin offering for decreasing the moon' size.

So the question is why not increase her size again and dont bring a sin offering. If it was right to decrease it shouldnt need a sin offering and if it was wrong then increase it again. This story is also mentioned regarding korach that if you ask for more even what you have got is taken away.

בי שמעון בן פזי רמי כתיב (בראשית א, טז) ויעש אלהים את שני המאורות הגדולים וכתיב את המאור הגדול ואת המאור הקטן אמרה ירח לפני הקב"ה רבש"ע אפשר לשני מלכים שישתמשו בכתר אחד אמר לה לכי ומעטי את עצמך


  • Do you mind citing this claim about the sin offering (hint it's from the Bavli in the first Perek of Shevuot)
    – Double AA
    Jun 12, 2015 at 16:32
  • Since you have found it already please edit my answer. Thanks it is soon shabbos I dont have time. My answer which I will give after hearing some others will by my own and in my usual 'style' which is rarely understood on here. I seem to come from the moon!
    – cham1
    Jun 12, 2015 at 16:35
  • I don't have the daf number handy and dont really want to check right now.
    – Double AA
    Jun 12, 2015 at 16:36
  • The full story is only in chullin 60b.daf-yomi.com/Dafyomi_Page.aspx?id=4725&vt=1&fs=0
    – cham1
    Jun 12, 2015 at 16:46
  • 2
    The printers saw fit on this Aggadah to reference the Rif not to take it at face value.
    – HaLeiVi
    Jun 12, 2015 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


Why would He put the moon back? It wasn't just a punishment, it was a good point. They shouldn't be the same size.

The Maharal discusses this Aggadah in a few places. The part that pertains to this question is that the Gemara is detailing the reasoning behind certain Maasei Bereishis. It had to turn out this way. However, being that the creation had an element of a perceived unfairness, this can be rectified by having made Rosh Chodesh based on this very element. This turns it around from a disadvantage to something prestigious.

  • I don't understand your first paragraph? Why a priori shouldn't they be the same size?
    – Double AA
    Jun 12, 2015 at 18:18
  • @DoubleAA It all started because the moon said two kings can't have one crown. It was told that it's true and that therefore it should get smaller.
    – HaLeiVi
    Jun 12, 2015 at 20:12
  • So why a priori shouldn't they be the same size?
    – Double AA
    Jun 12, 2015 at 20:16
  • 1
    @DoubleAA are you asking what the moon's point was? However you understand that Gemara, it made a point that was considered valid.
    – HaLeiVi
    Jun 12, 2015 at 20:50
  • I don't see why you couldn't understand it as a punishment. כאשר זמם.
    – Double AA
    Jun 12, 2015 at 21:02

First, one has to get the story line right. I am copying the sefer I mentioned in the comments but saying a different pshat.

The sun and moon are really actors playing man and wife.

Hashem made them the same size.

The moon said we can't be the same size so I want to be bigger. One must understand why she thought she ought to be bigger.

Hashem said no. If someone has to be bigger then it has to be the sun.

But Hashem explained to the moon why they really can be the same size.
The moon said now she understood and wants to be back the same size.

Hashem said now it's too late (meaning you don't really understand)

The moon was upset so he offered her stars. She was still upset.

But hashem said he could do nothing about it.

But Hashem is upset that he couldn't make them both the same size like he originally wanted and for that he brings a kapara.

That seems to be the story line.
To be continued.

  • You based your question on a claim that they had to be different sizes, and say in your answer that they can be the same size after all (without sources). If your question is wrong then please fix it, but right now this doesn't appear to answer the question you asked. Oct 14, 2015 at 19:07

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