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סֵדֶר קִדּוּשׁ לְבָנָה ☽ Kiddush Levanah: Sanctification of the Moon (Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=9000 סֵדֶר קִדּוּשׁ לְבָנָה ☽ Kiddush Levanah: Sanctification of the Moon (Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org) 2014-06-02 20:16:19 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. Text the Open Siddur Project David Seidenberg David Seidenberg neohasid.org https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ David Seidenberg https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Ḳiddush Levanah Renewal eco-conscious night new moon the moon ecoḥasid dancing

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Source (Hebrew)Translation (English)

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 Tishah 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 הַשָּׁמָיִם, וְהַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל הַשָּׁמָיִם׃
יְהַלְלוּ אֶת שֵׁם ה׳ כִּי הוּא צִוָּה וְנִבְרָאוּ׃
וַיַּעֲמִידֵם לָעַד לְעוֺלָם, חָק נָתַן וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר׃ (תהלים קמח:א-ו)
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 God commanded and they were created,
and God set them up ever forever, giving them a law, and it will not be erased.[1] Psalms 148:1-6  

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 God for the moon and asking for the moon to be blessed by God, 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
אֲשֶׁר בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ בָּרָא שְׁחָקִים,
וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו כָּל צְבָאָם
חֹק וּזְמַן נָתַן לָהֶם
שֶׁלֹּא יְשַׁנּוּ אֶת תַּפְקִידָם
שָֹשִֹים וּשְֹמֵחִים לַעֲשֹוֹת רְצוֹן קוֹנָם
פּוֹעֵל אֱמֶת, שֶׁפְּעֻלָּתוֹ אֱמֶת
וְלַלְּבָנָה אָמַר שֶׁתִּתְחַדֵּשׁ
עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן
שֶׁהֵם עֲתִידִים לְהִתְחַדֵּשׁ כְּמוֹתָהּ,
וּלְפָאֵר לְיוֹצְרָם
עַל שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ׃
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳
מְחַדֵּשׁ חֳדָשִׁים׃
Blessed be You
YHVH Adonai, our God,
ruler of all space and time
who with God’s word created galaxies,
and with the breath of God’s mouth all of their hosts
law and time God gave to them,
so they would not change their course
joyful and happy to do the will of the One who possesses them,
True Worker whose work is true.
And God said to the moon levanah, “Renew yourself!”
a crown of beauty to the womb-laden (or: those carried in the womb)
who are destined to renew themselves like her,
and to glorify the One who formed them
by the name of glory of God’s kingdom.
Blessed be You, YHVH (Hashem),
who makes new the renewing-moons m’ḥadesh ḥodashim!

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 עוֹשֵׂךְ,
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 ḳoneikh

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 אוֹיְבִים 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׃ (שמות טו:טז)
say three times:
There will fall upon them terror and fear,
through your arm’s greatness let them fall silent like a rock.[2] Exodus 15:16  
 
כָּאָבֶן יִדְּמוּ זְרוֹעֲךָ בִּגְדֹל
וָפַחַד אֵימָתָה עֲלֵיהֶם תִּפֹּל׃
say three times:
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 ḥai v’qayam!

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 יִשְׂרָאֵל אָמֵן׃
sing at least three times:
A good omen and a good sign for us and for all Yisra’el, amen!
 
Siman tov umazal tov y’hei lanu ud’khol Yisra’el, amen!
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׃ (שיר השירים ב:ח-ט)
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.[3] Song of Songs 2:8-9  
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׃ (תהלים קכא)
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.[4] Psalms 121, translation JPS 1917  
אָמַר רַב אָסִי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנַן
כָּל הַמְבָרֵךְ עָל הַחֹדֶש בִּזְמָנוֹ
כְּאִילוּ מְקָבֵל פְנֵי שְׁכִינָה.
תָּנָא דְבֵי רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל,
אִלְמָלֵי לֹא זָכוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶלָּא
לְהַקְבִּיל פְּנֵי אֲבִיהֶם שֶׁבַּשָׁמַיִם
פַּעַם אַחַת בַּחֹדֶשׁ
דַּיָם.
אָמַר אַבַּיֵי:
הִלְכָּךְ צָרִיךְ נֵימְרִינְהוּ מְעֻמָּד. (תלמוד בבלי סנהדרין נ״ב א׳)
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.[5] Sanhedrin 42a  
מִי זֹאת עוֹלָה מִן הַמִּדְבָּר
מִתְרַפֶּקֶת עַל דּוֹדָה׃ (שיר השירים ח:ה)
Who is this arising from the wilderness,
leaning upon her beloved?[6] Song of Songs 8:5  
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 וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת שְׁנֵי הַמְּאֹרֹת הַגְּדֹלִים
May it be Your will Hashem,
my God and my ancestors’ God,
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 God formed the two great lights.”[7] based on Talmud Ḥulin 60b; for a Kabbalistic interpretation see this article at astillsmallvoice.org  

Notes

Notes
1Psalms 148:1-6
2Exodus 15:16
3Song of Songs 2:8-9
4Psalms 121, translation JPS 1917
5Sanhedrin 42a
6Song of Songs 8:5
7based on Talmud Ḥulin 60b; for a Kabbalistic interpretation see this article at astillsmallvoice.org

 

 

2 comments to סֵדֶר קִדּוּשׁ לְבָנָה ☽ Kiddush Levanah: Sanctification of the Moon (Rabbi David Seidenberg, neohasid.org)

  • Hi. Is the blessing the same in the Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions?

  • There is a Jewish tradition to bless the renewal of the moon once each month from three days after the new moon appears and before it reaches fullness. The full text of this outdoor ceremony, translated by Rabbi David Seidenberg, can be found here. Blessing the moon is called Kiddush Levana (sanctification of the moon) in Ashkenazic tradition and Birkat Halevana (blessing the moon) in Sephardic tradition. Often it takes place on a Saturday night and has a celebratory air. The ritual, historically recited by men after synagogue evening prayers, has been adapted by some contemporary Jewish men’s groups (in a parallel to women’s Rosh Hodesh groups) as a time for men to gather for spiritual celebration and personal growth. A program of national and regional nature retreats to help men support one another in becoming mensches, “men of compassion, integrity, and spirit,” can be found here at Menschwork.
    Of course, like Rosh Hodesh, the ritual of Kiddush Levana can be meaningful to people of all genders. Here is the text of the main blessing (handy to have on your phone), with Rabbi Seidenberg’s translation. You are sure to find some echoes of the Midrash of the Moon:

    בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה 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 God 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 יהוה מְחַדֵּשׁ חֳדָשִׁים:
    Blessed be You, YHVH Adonai, who makes new the renewing-moons m’chadesh chodashim!

    Learn more here and here about the history and meaning of this ceremony.
    Featured image: Moon in Winter_Moon Jaz via flicker
    Learn about the Solar Eclipse as a spiritual experience, or return to the Gateway of the Moon.

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