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Dvar for Bereishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

G-d creates the “two great luminaries in the sky, the great one to rule the day and the small one to rule the night” (1:16). Why does the passuk announce two great luminaries, only to further single out the sun as the great luminary?

R’ Yosef Dov Soloveitchik suggests an insight into the concept of great and small. While the sun is itself a source of light, the moon only reflects light. When we are young, we receive guidance and wisdom from parents and teachers, with the hope that one day we will become that source of light and inspiration for others. Reflecting light when we are still growing does not diminish our greatness; rather it enhances it, as we humbly learn from those who have accomplished what we hope to one day reflect toward others.