people of Helm were enamored of their moon. Nightly they would stand
outside, hands behind their backs, gazing at the heavens. As the
moon waxed and waned, slipping from a silvery sliver to a brilliant
full moon, and then disappearing once again, the townsfolk of Helm
would stand and observe in awe and reverence.
one of the gazers expressed a growing sense of frustration. "The
moon is so lovely," he blurted suddenly. "Why does it
have to disappear on us month after month?"
added his friend, "I was feeling the same thing. If only
it could remain with us nightly, round and shiny."
we can capture the moon," suggested a third, " and then
it will be ours fully radiant, each
and every night."
gazers gathered round, muttering their agreement, it was decided
to to pay a visit to the Wise Men of Helm, that the latter might
propose a practical plan for capturing the moon.
The Wise Men
were supportive and sympathetic. They, too, were beginning to
feel their beloved moon was a bit of a tease. They put their heads
together and came up with the following suggestion:
eve of the 15th of every Hebrew month the moon can be seen inside
the town well (when the skies are clear, that is). Clearly, the
well is the moon's favorite resting place when it feels in its
prime. When the moon is seen resting in the well, gather round,
clamp on the cover, and capture the moon!"
townsfolk of Helm were pleased and eager. They did as the Wise
Men bid, and on one clear and brisk evening in mid Elul, they
clamped the cover on the town well. The moon was now captured,
ever-full, ever-radiant. The moon was theirs.