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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Laws and Customs

Once a month, as the moon waxes in the sky, we recite a special blessing called Kiddush Levanah, "the sanctification of the moon," praising the Creator for His wondrous work we call astronomy.

Kiddush Levanah is recited after nightfall, usually on Saturday night. The blessing is concluded with songs and dancing, because our nation is likened to the moon—as it waxes and wanes, so have we throughout history. When we bless the moon, we renew our trust that very soon, the light of G‑d's presence will fill all the earth and our people will be redeemed from exile.

Though Kiddush Levanah can be recited as early as three days after the moon's rebirth, the kabbalah tells us it is best to wait a full week, till the seventh of the month. Once 15 days have passed, the moon begins to wane once more and the season for saying the blessing has passed.

Links:

Brief Guide to Kiddush Levanah: Thank G‑d for the Moon!
More articles on Kiddush Levanah from our knowledgebase.

Daily Thought

True, when we work from above and stay above, the transformation we effect does not last. Yet while it is there, it is all-consuming. While it is there, everything experiences a whole new state of being.

True, when we work from within, the transformation is self-sustaining, but it is only skin deep. The beast within remains a beast, just slightly more enlightened. The world remains a world, only a brighter world.

Ultimately, both approaches are needed. We can teach and provide knowledge, yet preserve a sense of the transcendent and unknowable. We can work with the world on its own terms, but we must show it that it is only a world. Within a higher context, it is nothing at all.

Until, eventually, that beast and that world will become the devices through which an unknowable G‑d can be known.

Maamar Padah B’Shalom 5722.