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סדר קידוש לבנה ☽ Kiddush Levanah: Sanctification of the Moon (Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org)

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In Kabbalistic tradition, the new moon is sanctified seven days after its appearance, under a clear sky, standing facing east. It may be said as early as three days after the new moon, and as late as a day before the full moon (the moon should still be visibly waxing). It is the custom in the month of Av to wait to sanctify the moon until after Tisha b’Av, and in Tishrei to wait until after Yom Kippur. In a minyan, the Aleinu prayer and kaddish are traditionally added at the end.


הַלְלוּיָהּ,
הַלְלוּ אֶת ה׳ מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם, הַלְלוּהוּ בַּמְּרוֹמִים:
הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל מַלְאָכָיו, הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל צְבָאָיו:
הַלְלוּהוּ שֶׁמֶשׁ וְיָרֵחַ, הַלְלוּהוּ כָּל כּוֹכְבֵי אוֹר:
הַלְלוּהוּ שְׁמֵי הַשָּׁמָיִםֹֹ, וְהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל הַשָּׁמָיִם:
יְהַלְלוּ אֶת שֵׁם ה׳ כִּי הוּא צִוָּה וְנִבְרָאוּ:
וַיַּעֲמִידֵם לָעַד לְעולָם, חָק נָתַן וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר:
Praise Yah!
Praise Hashem from the skies, praise the One in the heights.
Praise the One, all angels, praise the One, all the hosts.
Praise the One, sun and moon, praise the One, all stars of light.
Praise the One, skies above skies, and water that is beyond the sky.
They will praise Hashem’s name, for G‽D commanded and they were created,
and G‽D set them up ever forever, giving them a law, and it will not be erased.

The traditional custom is to not look upon the moon itself while saying the blessing, in order to avoid any appearance of praying to the moon. However, if one keeps in mind that we are thanking G‽D for the moon and asking for the moon to be blessed by G‽D, it is lovely to stay focused on the moon during the blessing. The blessing is found in Talmud Sanhedrin 42a, where it reads, “true workers whose work is true” פּוֹעָלֵי אֱמֶת, שֶׁפְּעֻלָּתָן אֱמֶת, referring to the moon and sun rather than to God.


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
Blessed be You YHVH Adonai, our God, ruler of all space and time

אֲשֶׁר בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ בָּרָא שְׁחָקִים, וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו כָּל צְבָאָם
who with God’s word created galaxies, and with the breath of God’s mouth all of their hosts

חֹק וּזְמַן נָתַן לָהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יְשַׁנּוּ אֶת תַּפְקִידָם
law and time G‽D gave to them, so they would not change their course

שָֹשִֹים וּשְֹמֵחִים לַעֲשֹוֹת רְצוֹן קוֹנָם
joyful and happy to do the will of the One who possesses them,

פּוֹעֵל אֱמֶת, שֶׁפְּעֻלָּתוֹ אֱמֶת וְלַלְּבָנָה אָמַר שֶׁתִּתְחַדֵּשׁ
True Worker whose work is true. And God said to the moon levanah, “Renew yourself!”

עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן
a crown of beauty to the womb-laden (or: those carried in the womb)

שֶׁהֵם עֲתִידִים לְהִתְחַדֵּשׁ כְּמוֹתָהּ, וּלְפָאֵר לְיוֹצְרָם
who are destined to renew themselves like her, and to glorify the One who formed them

עַל שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ:
by the name of glory of God’s kingdom.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ מְחַדֵּשׁ חֳדָשִׁים:
Blessed be You, YHVH (Hashem), who makes new the renewing-moons m’chadesh chodashim!

Each of the following lines is said three times as a kind of incantation up to the new moon ☽:
Feel free to say what is enjoyable and leave out what seems extraneous.


בָּרוּךְ עוֹשֵֹךְ, בָּרוּךְ יוֹצְרֵךְ, בָּרוּךְ בּוֹרְאֵךְ, בָּרוּךְ קוֹנֵךְ.
[say three times] Blessed be your Maker, blessed be your Former, blessed be your Creator, blessed be your Possessor.
Barukh oseikh, barukh yotsreikh, barukh boreikh, barukh koneikh

Jump with joy towards the moon each time you say the next line:

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֲנִי רוֹקֵד כְּנֶגְדֵּךְ וְאֵינִי יָכוֹל לִנְגּוֹעַ בָּךְ, כַּךְ לֹא יוּכְלוּ כָּל אוֹיְבים לִנְגוֹעַ בָּהֶם לְרָעָה.
[say three times] Just as I leap (and dance) opposite you and cannot touch you,
so may enemies be unable to touch each other for harm (traditional: so may my enemies be unable to touch me for harm.)

תִּפֹּל עֲלֵיהֶם אֵימָתָה וָפַחַד בִּגְדֹל זְרוֹעֲךָ יִדְּמוּ כָּאָבֶן. כָּאָבֶן יִדְּמוּ זְרוֹעֲךָ בִּגְדֹל וָפַחַד אֵימָתָה עֲלֵיהֶם תִּפֹּל:
[say three times] There will fall upon them terror and fear, through your arm’s greatness let them fall silent like a rock. Like a rock let them fall silent through your arm, with greatness and fear, terror upon them will fall.

דָּוִד מֶלֶךְ יִשְֹרָאֵל חַי וְקַיָּם
[sing at least three times] David King of Yisrael lives!
David melekh yisrael chai v’kayam!

Exchange greetings with three people:

שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם!
Peace unto you!
Shalom Aleikhem

עֲלֵיכֶם שָׁלוֹם!
Unto you peace!
Aleikhem shalom

סִמָּן טוֹב וּמַזָּל טוֹב יְהֵא לָנוּ וּדְכָל יִשְֹרָאֵל אָמֵן
[sing at least three times] A good omen and a good sign for us and for all Israel!
Siman tov umazel tov y’hei lanu ud’khol Yisra’el!

קוֹל דּוֹדִי הִנֵּה זֶה בָּא מְדַלֵּג עַל הֶהָרִים מְקַפֵּץ עַל הַגְּבָעוֹת.
דּוֹמֶה דוֹדִי לִצְבִי אוֹ לְעֹפֶר הָאַיָּלִים.
הִנֵּה זֶה עוֹמֵד אַחַר כָּתְלֵנוּ, מַשְׁגִּיחַ מִן הַחַלֹּנוֹת, מֵצִיץ מִן הַחֲרַכִּים:
The voice of my beloved, here this one is coming, skipping over mountains, jumping over valleys.
My beloved, be like an antelope or a doe of the deers!
Here this one stands, beyond our wall, peering from the windows, peaking through the cracks.

שִׁיר לַמַּעֲלוֹת,
אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי אֶל הֶהָרִים, מֵאַיִן יָבֹא עֶזְרִי:
עֶזְרִי מֵעִם ה׳ עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ:
אַל יִתֵּן לַמּוֹט רַגְלֶךָ, אַל יָנוּם שֹׁמְרֶךָ:
הִנֵּה לֹא יָנוּם וְלֹא יִישָׁן שׁוֹמֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל:
ה׳ שֹׁמְרֶךָ, ה׳ צִלְּךָ עַל יַד יְמִינֶךָ:
יוֹמָם הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לֹא יַכֶּכָּה, וְיָרֵחַ בַּלָּיְלָה:
ה׳ יִשְׁמָרְךָ מִכָּל רָע:
יִשְׁמֹר אֶת נַפְשֶׁךָ:
ה׳ יִשְׁמָר צֵאתְךָ וּבוֹאֶךָ, מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:
A Song of Ascents.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From where shall my help come?
My help comes from Hashem, who made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer your foot to be moved; He that keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He that keeps Yisrael does not slumber nor sleep.
Hashem is your keeper; Hashem is your shade upon your right hand.
The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
Hashem shall keep you from all evil;
He shall keep your soul.
Hashem shall guard your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and for ever.

אָמַר רב אָסִי אָמַר רבי יוֹחָנַן
כָּל הַמְבָרֵךְ עָל הַחדֶש בִּזְמָנוֹ
כְּאִילוּ מְקָבֵל פְנֵי שְׁכִינָה.
תָּנָא דְבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל,
אִלְמָלֵי לֹא זָכוּ יִשְֹרָאֵל אֶלָּא לְהַקְבִּיל פְּנֵי אֲבִיהֶם שֶׁבַּשָׁמַיִם פַּעַם אַחַת בַּחֹדֶשׁ דַּיָם.
אָמַר אַבַּיֵי:
הִלְכָּךְ צָרִיךְ נֵימְרִינְהוּ מְעֻמָּד.
Rav Assi said in the name of Rebbi Yoḥanan:
All who bless the “new one” ḥodesh (the moon) in its time,
it’s as if they received the face (presence) of Shekhinah.
It was taught in the house of Rebbi Yishmael:
If Israel merited to receive the face of their Father in heaven only once a moon, it would be enough for them.
Abaye said:
Therefore we should say (the blessing over the moon) standing.

מִי זֹאת עוֹלָה מִן הַמִּדְבָּר מִתְרַפֶּקֶת עַל דּוֹדָה׃
Who is this arising from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

וִיהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
ה׳ אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי
לְמַלֹּאת פְּגִימַת הַלְּבָנָה,
וְלֹא יִהְיֶה בָּהּ שׁוּם מִעוּט,
וִיהִי אוֹר הַלְּבָנָה כְּאוֹר הַחַמָּה
וּכְאוֹר שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי בְרֵאשִׁית,
כְּמוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה קוֹדֶם מִעוּטָהּ,
שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיַּעַשֹ אֱלֹהִים אֶת שְׁנֵי הַמְּאֹרֹת הַגְּדֹלִים
May it be Your will Hashem,
my G‽D and my ancestors’ G‽D,
to fulfill the blemish of the “white one” levanah (the moon),
and may there be no diminishing at all in her;
and may the light of the white one be like the light of the “hot one” ḥamah (the sun),
and like the light of the seven days of beginning creation,
like it was before she was diminished,
as it says “And G‽D formed the two great lights.”
Psalms 148:1-6
Exodus 15:16
Song of Songs 2:8-9
Psalms 121, translation JPS 1917
Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 42a
Song of Songs 8:5
based on Talmud Ḥulin 60b; for a Kabbalistic interpretation see this article at astillsmallvoice.org

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