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==Basics==
#Since this blessing is involves the greeting of the Divine Presence, it is most proper, when possible, that its recital be in standing. <ref>Gemara Sanhedrin 42a, Shulchan Aruch 426. The Gemara relates that Mereimar and Mar Zutra in their later years would be supported by their attendants in order to recite this blessing while standing, see Rashi there. </ref> When not feasible (eg. elderly or sick persons) this blessing may be recited in a sitting position.<ref>Ya'alkut Yosef 426</ref>#It is also preferable, when possible, that this blessing not be recited indoors, but rather outdoors under open skies, as is the way to go out toward to greet one of prominent stature. <ref>Shiltei Ha'giborim (Berachos 189:3), Bach 426 and Responsa Teshuvos Ha'bach (no. 80)</ref> Preferably one should also not be positioned beneath a roof or overhang.<ref>Rama 426:4 with Mishnah Brurah (21) and Ya'alkut Yosef (426). Orchos Rabbenu (v. 1 p. 178) however, brings from the Chazon Ish that this optimal condition is only to refrain from it's recital in indoor structures, but once outside one may recite the blessing under an overhang. See Responsa Yaskil Avdi (vol. 8 no. 38) and Ya'alkut Yosef (Shabbat vol. 5, pg. 332) for a discussion on it's recital under a tree's branch, and Mishnah Berura Dirshu (42) regarding it's recital under an umbrella. </ref> When not feasible, this recommended condition may be waived, provided the moon's illumination is visible indoors to the reciter (eg. through a window or door). <ref>Bach 426 with Mishnah Berurah (21). See Responsa Yechave Da'at </ref>#It is proper to be clothed with dignity while reciting this blessing, as one would dress before greeting one of prominent stature. Some have the custom to clothe themselves with their special Shabbat garments, even while reciting this blessing during an ordinary weekday. <ref>Tractate Sofrim (20) makes reference to the importance of being well dressed during this ritual. See Hagaos Maimoniyos who relates that his teacher Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg had the custom to wear Shabbos clothes before the recital of this blessing, even if he preformed it during the weekday. Pri Chadash 426 brings this, and suggests that we at the very least be meticulous of wearing the special Shabbos hat. See Mishnah Berurah (7) however, who observed that widespread custom is to no longer to be careful in this latter stringency. See also Ya'alkut Yosef Shabbat vol. 5, pg. 318). </ref>#Since this ritual involves such great allusion the ultimate convalesce of our nation, it is customary to break into frolic dance after its completion. <ref>Meiri Sanhedrin 42a, Darchei Moshe 426, See Rama 426 who further analogizes this ritual in effect to a ceremony of ultimate matrimony between God and the Nation of Israel. See Meiri  Shaar Hatziyun 426:12 explains that we do not recite this blessing on Friday night because this ritual is accustomed to Sanhedrin 42abe coupled with dancing, which is forbidden on Shabbos.</ref>
==When It Should Be Said==
#The text of this blessing as appears in the Talmud, reads: Blessed are you God.. Who with his utterance created the heavens.. Who renews the months, etc.<ref>Sanhedrin 42a, Shulchan Aruch 426:1 </ref> In this blessing we express our recognition of God awesome power over the universe. As such, one should be vigilant to recite this blessing with full intent, devotion and elation. <ref>Ben Ish Chai (vol. 1, Vayikra 26) and More Be'ezbah 187</ref> It is customary to also recite additional appropriate texts and passages, the "Shalom Aleichem" greeting <ref>Levush (426) explains that this greeting is included after the recital of this blessing, for after having greeted the Divine Presence, we then joyously bless one another. </ref> and the "Aleinu" prayer <ref>Mishnah Berurah 426. We recite this prayer after our greeting of the moon, to declare that this ritual is not to be interpreted as idolatrous heavenly worship, God forbid. </ref>.
#The verse "Just as I dance toward you but cannot touch you, so may none of my enemies be able to touch me for evil" is recited three times (this verse, and many that follow in the text are repeated three times in order to give emphasis to these special messages). Upon the recital of this verse, one is to rise on his toes as if in a dance.<ref>Tractate Sofrim (19). Dover Shalom (Kiddush Levana) explains that this symbolic exertion to touch the moon is a form of prayer: "Just as we cannot touch the moon, may the exertions of our enemies against us be with no avail". Some write that this rise should specially be of three times, See Ya'alkut Yosef (426). </ref>
#After mankind's first successful Lunar surface landing in July 20, 1969, there were those who felt that this last mentioned verse should now read:"Just as I dance toward you but '''do not''' touch you", most however argued, explaining that to us here at earth the moon is classified as 'unable to be touched'. <ref>Israeli Armed Forces’ Chief Chaplain General Rabbi Shlomo Goren's change in the IDF Siddur (pg. 464) also based on text of Tractate Sofrim. See however Derech Sicha (pg. 629) where Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky explains that even nowadays the moon is deemed 'unable to be touched'. Ya'alkut Yosef (462:17) writes similarly. </ref>
#Some have written that praying "May I be saved from toothaches" after the recital of this last verse "none of my enemies be able to touch me for evil" is auspicious for being saved from toothaches.<ref>Ta'amei Haminhagim (Inyanei Rosh Chodesh) from the Radziner Rebbe. Some versions of the Ya'avetz's Siddur have this addition as well, in brackets though. Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in Derech Sicha (p. 144) concurred with the efficacy of this benevolent charm, as well. He relates that his father, Rabbi Ya'akov Yisrael Kanievsky would recite these additional words also on behalf of others who were suffering from toothaches. See also Ya'alkut Yosef (Shabbat vol. 5, pg. 329). </ref>
#As was mentioned above, the phases of the moon are equated to the Davidic dynasty, where we are confident that our nation's "diminished" power will soon end and its light will soon illuminate to fullness. It is therefore the custom to recite the verse "David, King of Israel, is alive and enduring". <ref>Rama 426 </ref> Some communities then follow the recital of this verse with the recital of the word "Amen", three times. One should take care to pause between each [[Amen]] <ref>*Yerushalmi ([[Megillah]] 4:10) teaches that one may not say [[Amen]] [[Amen]] just as the Sages prohibited the recital of "[[Shema]] [[Shema]]". See Ohel Moed ([[Kriyat Shema]] 1:7) who cites this Yerushalmi and rules accordingly. The Beis Yosef (61) however challenges this ruling of the Ohel Moed and questions it with many verses which actually contain the words [[Amen]] one after the other. (See Mor U'ketzia (61) where the Yaavetz proves that this Yershalmi actually is against a Bavli which permits such a recital.)
*Pri [[Chadash]] (61:12) refutes the Beis Yosef's proof: he suggests that those verses are indeed only to be said on condition that pause between the two [[Amen]] words. Kaf Hachaim (61:43) and Yabia Omer 10:5 therefore rule that while the recital of Birkat Halevana, a pause should be made between the three "Amen" words.</ref> unless his recital is in private, in which case one is not obligated to pause. <ref>Korban HaEdah (Megillah 4:10)</ref>
==Women==
#According to most authorities this blessing is a time-bound commandment, thus exempting women from obligation of its recital. <ref>Meiri (Sanhedrin 42a) seems to hold that women are obligated in its recital (See Yabia Omer Orach Chaim 5:36). Rabbi Shlomo Kluger (Chochmas Shlomo 426:1) explains that although this ritual is time-framed it does not fall under the category of time-bound obligations from which women are exempt for. He reasons that Birkas Halevana is not attached to a specific time on the calendar, as most time-bound commandments, rather this ritual which is a "response" to a natural phenomenon - the moon's renewal - which so happens to be at specific part of the month. See also Yabia Omer (Orach Chaim 5:36) for more discussion.
Rav Moshe Feinstein (Choshen Mishpat 2:47) however posits that even this is considered time-framed as it comes around at a same specific time monthly, and that suffices to consider it a time-bound commandment from which women are exempt from. Mishnah Berurah (426:1) considers it so as well.
 
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#When it comes to other time-bound commandments there is a dispute between the Sephardic and Ashkenazic authorities as to whether they may opt-in and recite the blessing if they so wish. <ref>Rambam (Tzitzis 3:9 & Sukkah 6:13) holds that they may not recite a blessing. Raavad (Tzitzit 3:9) and Tosfos (Eruvin 96a & Kedushin 31a) however quotes Rabbeinu Tam as saying that they may opt-in and recite a blessing.</ref> When it comes to this blessing however, the widespread custom is that all women do not in fact recite it. <ref>Mishnah Berurah 426</ref> Some suggest that women should attempt to hear the blessing recited by a man who has in mind that the blessing be behalf of them as well.<ref>Kaf Ha'chaim (426:1)</ref>
#Blind men should recite birkat halevana even though they cannot see the moon.<ref>Mishneh Brura 426:1 </ref>
 
==Text==
 
#Ashkenazic text of Kiddush Halevana: [https://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%A1%D7%99%D7%93%D7%95%D7%A8/%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%A1%D7%97_%D7%90%D7%A9%D7%9B%D7%A0%D7%96/%D7%A7%D7%99%D7%93%D7%95%D7%A9_%D7%9C%D7%91%D7%A0%D7%94 Wikisource.org].
#Sephardic text of Birchat Halevana: [https://www.sefaria.org/Siddur_Edot_HaMizrach,_Blessing_of_the_Moon Sefaria.org]
==Sources==

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