Open Letter to Tzilah Yare’ach, my fifth child

You were born at home, during an eclipse, met by your four older brothers and sisters.

You hinted your arrival the whole week before and arrived on your due date, your mother labored most intensively as the eclipse aligned in the sky, and you came out whole and healthy as soon as it ended.

So, we’ve named you Tzilah Yare’ach: Shadow of the Moon.

Tzilah comes from the Torah, in the first parsha, bereshit, which we read the week you were born – the first shabbat since Simchat Torah, which this year was dark.

Tzilah is the first woman mention in the “he begat him” passage (ironic). She was born seven generations into humanity, which in biblical numeric symbology represents wholeness, and for a world which was created mere pages before, it represents the beginning of civilization.

With her partner and their children, the Midrash teaches us that Tzilah brought forth engineering and art.

Whereas other cosmologies mythologize that art and science came as gifts from the gods, our tradition teaches civilization is a multi-generational emergence, created by people who love their children.

We feel days turn into weeks and months as the earth’s shadow moves across the moon, we experience fleeting timelessness when the moon’s shadow covers our world in an eclipse.

Tzilah, in your grandparent’s generation people first stood on the moon, and in your youth people will stand on the moon again; and by the time you’re an adult there will be lunar time zones and neighborhoods. Your generation will be more numerous and more capable than they, you will spread humanity to the cosmos, but we want you to lead civilization there, too

May you be blessed to cast your shadow on the moon, and further an ethical and artful civilization that casts great shadows, too; with your sisters and brothers lead us into that future with joy.

Welcome to earth, Tzilah Yare’ach.

Cast your shadow and make us feel alive.