(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 23:58:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Kiddush Levanah (Sanctifying the New Moon)

QUESTION: What is the nature of the blessing we make on new moon once a month,
 KIDDUSH LEVANA (blessing the new moon once a month); Also is this related to
a similar blessing on the sun. In a previous posting I explained

ANSWER: In a previous posting I explained
that the BLESSING ON THE MOON is a symbolic affirmation of mans capacity to
repent (because the moon is the only heavenly body that CHANGES shape.. all
other heavenly bodies are fixed...so too man should behave like the moon
and become FULL if he was formerly deficient).

The blessing on the sun said once every 28 years is different than the
monthly blessing on the moon.
A blessing is said ON ANY NATURAL WONDER (such as lightning, earthquakes,
great oceans,mountains). This is a blessing of praise and not a symbolic
affirmation of repentance. We say this blessing once every 28 years when
the sun is at the original position it was in the heavens when it was
created. BUT..we also say this blessing when the moon returns to its
original position so there is nothing special about the sun (See Rambam
Blessings 10:18).

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA; Rhendel@Towson.Edu
Moderator Rashi is Simple