Blood Moon: Any significance in Jewish scriptures?

Moshe Ben-Chaim

In his Laws of Idolatry, 1:1, Maimonides teaches that early man already began projecting greatness onto the heavenly bodies. Man thought, since the planets, stars and spheres “minister before God”, they too are worthy of man’s honor. Eventually, man’s corrupt thinking and sin increased as he replaced simple honor of stars with his worship of them as deities, until God was no longer recognized. Star worship reveals man’s false estimation that the heavens deserve to be worshipped. Man feared not only the spheres, but also the heavens. Jeremiah 10:2-3 reads, “So says God, ‘To the ways of the nations do not learn, and from the signs of the heavens do not fear, because from them the nations fear. Because the statutes of the peoples are false, because a tree from the forest they cut, fashioned by an artisan with an adze.” Jeremiah teaches that man did in fact fear the heavens. But their fear stemmed from a false projection - not based in reality. Jeremiah’s lesson is insightful: he equates the fear of heavens with the idolatrous practice of prostrating to wooden idols. He wished to teach that the heavens do not hold any greater powers than wooden sculptures. Man’s idolatrous emotions project the same imagined authority onto both, the heaven and the trees. But the underlying message is that man does in fact ascribe greater veneration to the skies, as Maimonides taught above. It appears that based on man’s first error that God occupies space and lives in the skies, man erred again, ascribing greatness to the spheres and stars that are assumed to be “in close proximity” to God.