Becoming Like the Sun
The month of Av, or Leo, that we are now entering into is ruled by the Sun. As such, it says in the Gemara, in the Talmud, that the power available in this month, if we ask for it, is the power of the Sun: the power to have the strength to shine our Light endlessly to the world.
It says, "Those who are connected to love of the Creator and of other people have the strength of the Sun.” And that, of course, is not a coincidence, because there's a connection between the month of Leo and the Sun; we have the ability to receive great strength in this month. Each one of us has the potential to have the strength the Sun has, all the time, to shine on the world. But how do we receive that strength?
By being somebody, it says, who doesn’t lash out when embarrassed by others, somebody who, when we hear people speak badly about us, doesn’t even hold on to it. Then, we can be a strong and truly powerful person.
The story tells us that the Sun and the Moon were originally created equal. But then the Moon said, “There can’t be two lights in the sky that are as big and powerful as each other.” So, the Creator said to the Moon, who was as big as the Sun, “Okay then, you have to make yourself small. If you are jealous of somebody else, you lose your light.” As such, the Moon lost its light, while the Sun not only maintained its own, but also become stronger. Why? Because, when the Sun heard the Moon talking badly about it, it did nothing; it didn’t complain, it didn’t say anything to the Creator, it didn’t talk back to the Moon. And therefore, the Sun received its strength and became the center of our Universe.
Rav Brandwein lived a life like this. Many people not only embarrassed him, but also said, and did, terrible things about and to him. However, he never projected it back, or even held onto it. A person like this, who is embarrassed and talked badly about by other people, but who never strikes back, says anything in return, or even keeps it inside, are those, it says, who receive the blessing of strength like the Sun’s.
And so, in this new month of Leo we are entering into, if we are to receive the strength and power to shine our Light endlessly to the world, we have to live the way the Sun lived, as a being who hears somebody embarrassing us or speaking badly about us, and doesn’t respond or hold onto it. A person like Rav Brandwein who, when listening to people speak negatively, is able to let it go completely. Then, we have the assistance of this month to become filled with strength and Light, like the Sun.