Hoshana Rabba Moon "Bombing"
Shirat Devorah makes an interesting connection between Hoshana Rabba and the moon "bombing" by NASA that is supposed to take place on that day. The moon "bombing" is scheduled for 7:30 EDT on Friday, which is right when my KeVatikin minyan is supposed to begin. She quotes from KosherTorah.com, who also mentions the Minhag HaTzeil - the (controversial, and largely abolished) custom of looking at your shadow naked in the moonlight to see if you are going to live out the year or not. I mentioned this at the end of my last post, referring to the Kaf HaHayim. The Kaf Hahayim refers you to the Matei Moshe, who has a lot of info on this Minhag. Even the Ramban on Humash talks about it.
What's interesting is that the purpose of NASA's mission is to look for water. However, we know the real Source of water.
The reason for the Minhag Hatzeil is given because:
אמנם הטעם בליל הושענא רבה יותר משאר
הלילות הבנתי מדברי הרוקח כי בחג
נדונים על המים. והוא יום אחרון שבחג שאז
נחתם לחיים כי כפי צורך החיים כך המים באים
Here's the רוקח inside for those who want to see it:
עת המים והוצרכו בלילה שלפניו לראות כמה קרקפתא דגברי צריכין לפרנסה ומראין
בצל ואומרים המלאכים פלוני לא יחיה הרי אינו צריך למים ולפרנסה סר צילם מעליהם
וה׳ אתנו סר צלם מעליהם בגימטר׳ ס״ר שנ״ה למי שסר צילו לא יחיה שנה לפי שכתוב
בצל ידי כסיתיך ובצל כנפיך תחסה והשדים מצויין אצל צל של לבנה כדאמרינן בפרק
ערבי פס׳ (דף קא) [דף קיא] אצל הצל עוברים על לא תשיג גבול רעך ואותם מזיקים הם
של אש וברד
The way I understand it is that we are judged for water and Parnassa on Sukkot, and Hoshana Rabba is the conclusion of that judgement. The angels need to count out how much water to provide for the world, so if the angel sees the shadow's shadow of the person, then it knows to provide water for that person that year. Otherwise, it knows that such a person will not live out the year, and does not need water.
The gematria of סר צלם מעליהם = 615 = סר שנה.
And demons frequent moonlight shadows, as it says in Arvei Pesahim, which is why this test must be done in the moonlight itself - where there is an abundance of light - since only then would we be in the Tzel of Hashem, where we could see the shadow of the shadow.
So, by NASA "bombing" the moon, they are trying to see if the moon is inhabitable by looking for water sources. However, there is only 1 Source of water, and He determines the year's water supply on Hoshana Rabba - not NASA. The moon is not a source of water - it is merely the means by which we can determine if life and water will be provided for each person individually.
According to the Kaf Hahayim, this test works best when לבנה is the "planet" that rules that hour. The only area of the world that is still night during the hour that לבנה rules (according to the chart here) that occurs the same time that NASA is "bombing" the moon is Hawaii and its surrounding area and the Aleutian islands (assuming we go according to secular International Date Line standards - otherwise, it's possible that it's already Shemini Atseret there).
What does this all mean? Nobody knows until it happens.
(Just so I'm clear, no one should actually perform this Minhag Hatzeil unless you have a tradition to do so, and your local Orthodox rabbi approves it. Otherwise, it's best to follow the Rema, who says not to do it. As with all posts, this is not Le'ma'aseh.)