Our sages (Bahir, par. 197) compare Zarach to the sun, and Peretz to the moon. The sun shines by itself continuously in an unchanging manner.

Thus, it symbolizes the way tzadikim (saints) serve G‑d-in a stable manner. The moon’s appearance keeps changing-it declines and fades from sight, and then resumes full shape. The moon thus symbolizes ba’alei teshuvah (penitents), who “slipped,” strayed, and then returned and regained their spiritual stature. In this context, the royal house of David, the very source of Moshiach, is precisely from Peretz who is compared to the moon. For one of the basic aspects of Moshiach is to bring even the tzadikim to a level of teshuvah (return to their Divine source).

The name of Peretz alludes to the special relationship between Moshiach and ba’alei teshuvah, and the aspect of bringing tzadikim to a level of teshuvah. He acquired this name because at birth he burst forth-paratz-forcing his way out before his twin-brother Zarach. This is the very mark of teshuvah, namely to break through the boundaries and limitations standing in one’s way. This is a unique and unrestricted potential, inherent in every Jew, that always allows him to breach all impediments and to burst through from the lowest to the highest levels. That is the source for the Talmudic ruling (Berachot 34b) that “Where the ba’alei teshuvah stand, the perfect tzadikim cannot stand.”