Who is obligated to recite Kiddush Levana-Women, children, mourner, blind

This Halacha is an excerpt from our Sefer


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 Who is obligated to say Kiddush Levana:

All men are obligated to recite Kiddush Levana, and must place effort to see the moon in order to say the blessing, as explained in the previous Halacha. The following will discuss the law of woman and children and other cases of exception.

 

A. Women:[1]

Women are exempt from reciting Kiddush Levana.[2] Furthermore, women are not to recite it even though they are generally allowed to fulfill Mitzvos that they are exempt from.[3]

 

B. Children:[4]

A child who has reached the age of Chinuch is to be educated to recite Kiddush Levana. The age of Chinuch is from the age that the child understands the meaning of Kiddush Levana.[5]

 

C. Is a blind man to say Kiddush Levana?

Some Poskim[6] rule a blind person is obligated to recite Kiddush Levana just like others.[7] Other Poskim[8] rule a blind man is not to say the blessing.[9] Practically, the blessing is not to be said.[10] Rather, one who is blind is to hear the blessing from another person.[11]

One who can only see with glasses:[12] One who can only see through the use of glasses is to nevertheless say Kiddush Levana with a blessing.

 

D. A mourner: May a mourner/Avel say Kiddush Levana?[13]

Some Poskim[14] rule a mourner is not to recite Kiddush Levana during his seven days of mourning if the seven days will end prior to the 10th of the month. If it will end on the 10th of the month or onwards then he is to say it even within the seven days. [It may be said even within the first three days of mourning.[15] However some Poskim[16] rule it may not be said within the first three days of mourning, as brought below.] Other Poskim[17] rule a mourner may not say Kiddush Levana within the seven days of mourning even if there will only be one night remaining for him to say Kiddush Levana after the end of mourning. If however there will not be any days left after the mourning to recite it, then he is to do so during the seven days. Other Poskim[18] rule one is only to refrain from saying Kiddush Levana during the first three days of mourning, while after the first three days it may be said at any time.

Practical ruling: One may not say Kiddush Levana during the seven days of mourning if the period of mourning will end before the 10th night of the month. One may say Kiddush Levana within the seven days of mourning if the mourning period will end past the 15th night of the month. It is disputed if one may say Kiddush Levana within the seven days if it will end on the 10th night or onwards, prior to the 15th. One is to be lenient in months that are rainy and cloudy and there is chance that one may lose the opportunity to say Kiddush Levana.[19]

 

Q&A on Avel

When a mourner says Kiddush Levana within his seven days of mourning is he to say it outside under the sky or in his house near a window?

Some Poskim[20] rule the mourner may leave his house to say Kiddush Levana. Other Poskim[21] rule it is to be said inside the house near a window if it is possible to see the moon from there. If this is not possible then it may be said outside.[22]

 

May an Avel during Shiva say Kiddush Levana with the Minyan/congregation?

Some Poskim[23] rule it is permitted for him to say Kiddush Levana together with the congregation. Other Poskim[24] however rule he is to say it without a Minyan. [Practically, one may be lenient to say it with a Minyan in order to recite the Kaddish afterwards.]

 

May an Avel during Shiva say Shalom Aleichem in the Nussach of Kiddush Levana?[25]

No.

 

General Q&A

May an Onen recite Kiddush Levana?

No. If however this is the last opportunity to sanctify the moon, some Poskim[26] rule it is permitted to do so if the Onen gave over the funeral preparations to the Chevra Kaddisha.[27] However, other Poskim[28] rule it is forbidden to say it even if this is the last opportunity. Practically, the custom follows the latter opinion.[29] Nonetheless, one who desires to be stringent upon himself to say it is to contact a Rav.[30]

 

Kiddush Levana near a cemetery:[31]

One may not say Kiddush Levana in a cemetery. Rather he is to distance himself from it in order to say it.

________________________________________

[1] Admur 106/2; M”A 426/1 in name of Shlah Shaar Haosiyos Kuf and M”A 296/11; M”B 426/1

Slaves: Slaves are exempt from reciting Kiddush Levana just as is the law by women. [Siddur Yaavetz]

[2] The reason: As it is a time dependent Rabbinical positive command. [Admur ibid; M”A ibid and 70/1] This is because the month may only be sanctified in its first half.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that Kiddush Levana is not a time dependent command. [Chochmas Shlomo on M”A ibid who questions this concept] See Haelef Lecha Shlomo 193; Maharil Diskin Kuntres Acharon 26; Yalkut Hagershoni 426; Likkut Dinei Rosh Chodesh 12 footnote 12

[3] Peri Megadim 426 A”A 1 based on the reason brought in Shelah and M”A ibid; M”A 296/11 “Women are not accustomed to recite Kiddush Levana”

The reason: Although women are allowed to perform Mitzvos which they are exempt from, nevertheless they should not say Kiddush Levana, being that it was a woman who was responsible for the diminishing of the moon, as it was caused due to the sin of Eve. [Shlah ibid; M”A ibid; See Minchas Yitzchak 8/15 and 34-1] Alternatively, the reason is because women may only recite a blessing on a time dependent positive command if the command contains an action, however when the entire command is fulfilled in speech, then women may not recite it. [M”A 296/11 in opinion of Rama 296/8; Chasam Sofer 34; Maharam Shick 56] Practically however, the Poskim negate this reason. [Bach brought in M”A ibid; Admur 296/11]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that women are to hear the blessing from others and recite it. [Kaf Hachaim 426/1 based on Sanhedrin 42a which implies that women would say Kiddush Levana] Practically this is not the custom. The Peri Megadim 426 A”A 1 writes it is implied that women are not to say Kiddush Levana even without a blessing.

[4] Siddur Yaavetz; M”B 426/1; See dispute in Admur 70/2 regarding educating a child to say Shema and that one should follow the first opinion

Other opinions: The M”B ibid suggests that perhaps the obligation to educate the child who has reached the age of Chinuch is only in accordance to the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam [first opinion in Admur ibid regarding Shema] while according to Rashi [second opinion in Admur ibid] he is exempt. The reason for this is because just as Rashi holds the child is exempt from Shema being that he is sleeping at morning and night, so too he is exempt from Kiddush Levana being that the child is asleep. The M”B ibid concludes that perhaps even the Yaavetz intended to say that it is only Lechatchila that the child is to be educated to say Kiddush Levana, just as we rule regarding Shema.

[5] Admur 343/3

[6] M”A 426/1; Rashal 77; M”B 426/1 however in Biur Halacha “Vinehnin” the M”B concludes a blind man is to hear the blessing from another person.

[7] The reason: As a blind person also benefits from the light of the moon as others show him items using the moon light. This blessing is similar to the blessing of Yotzer Hameoros which is also said by a blind man. [Rashal ibid; see Admur 69/9]

The law if the blind person is alone: Some Poskim rule that if the blind person is alone then he may not say the blessing even according to the above opinions. [Shvus Yaakov 3/32]

[8] Mahrikash brought in Birkeiy Yosef and Kaf Hachaim 426/2; See Biur Halacha “Vinehnin”

[9] The reason: As he cannot see the moon. [ibid]

[10] Machazikei Bracha 229/6; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayikra 23; Chesed Leavraham 2; Siddur Yaavetz; Biur Halacha ibid

The reason: As Safek Brachos Lehakel. [ibid]

[11] Biur Halacha ibid

[12] Shaareiy Teshuvah 426/1; Ben Ish Chaiy ibid

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that one who can only see the moon with the use of glasses is not to say a blessing. [Dvar Shmuel, brought in Beir Heiytiv 426/1; Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid] The Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid negates this opinion.

[13] See Beir Heiytiv 426/4; Shaareiy Teshuvah 426/2; M”B 426/11

[14] M”A 426/4

[15] Implication of M”A ibid; Likkut Dinei Rosh Chodesh 12 footnote 56

[16] Shvus Yaakov 2/11

[17] Shaar Efraim Yoreh Deah 4/95; M”B 426/11; Biur Halacha 426/2 “Kodem Tishe Beav” concords with his opinion

[18] Shvus Yaakov 2/11

[19] Mishneh Halachos 7/290

[20] Shaar Efraim ibid brought in M”B 426/11; Birkeiy Yosef Y.D. 393; P”M 426 A”A 4 based on Michaber Y.D. 393/2; Daas Kedoshim 341/4

[21] Elya Raba 426/15, brought in P”M ibid; See Divrei Nechemia Y.D. 33/26

[22] Kaf Hachaim 426/26

[23] Birkeiy Yosef Y.D. 393; P”M 426 A”A 4 based on Michaber Y.D. 393/2

[24] Divrei Nechemia Y.D. 33/26; Daas Kedoshim ibid

[25] Shaareiy Efraim ibid; Beis David 391 [Bistritz; however see what he wrote in 376]; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 37/11 and 107/8

[26] 2nd opinion in Admur 71/1; Sefer Hachaim 71 brought in Daas Torah 71 and Nitei Gavriel ibid

[27] The reason: As it is a Mitzvah Overes, and by a Mitzvah Overes all agree that one may be stringent upon himself to say it.

[28] 1st opinion in Admur ibid

[29] Admur ibid

[30] See Igros Kodesh 6/103 [brought in Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag Y.D. p. 364 and Shulchan Menachem 5/267] that the Rebbe followed the 2nd opinion in Admur upon the passing of his brother.

[31] Kaf Hachaim of Rav Chaim Falagi 35/12, brought in Kaf Hachaim 426/26

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