web analytics
June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: Kiddush Levanah, Repeating Verses Three Times (Part IV)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Bnei Yissas’char, though, not completely satisfied with the above answer, asks again: Why do we specifically recite the verses three times? He answers as follows: “It is written (Psalms 119:165), ‘Shalom rav le’ohavei toratecha ve’ein lamo michshol – Manifold peace to the lovers of Your Torah, and they shall not encounter any stumbling blocks.’ This is in accord with what our sages (Gittin 46a) state: yamim (days) refers to two, whereas the term rabbim (many) refers to three. Therefore the use of ribbuy [lit. rav], the plural count, refers to three. The verse actually means that when shalom is recited many times – [at least] three – no stumbling block will be encountered.”

Therefore, at the monthly renewal of the moon, we say “Shalom Aleichem” three times to ensure that we don’t encounter any stumbling blocks during the new month.

Bnei Yissas’char also points out that Tanach calls the moon by three different names: yare’ach, levana, and sahar. This, too, serves as a reason to recite “Shalom Aleichem” three times – once for each of the moon’s names.

We find yet another explanation in Bnei Yissas’char (found in this discussion as well as in Ma’amar Kislev 13). He suggests that we say “Shalom Aleichem” three times for the three fundamental mitzvot: Kiddush Hachodesh, Shabbat, and Milah. (It was these three mitzvot whose observance the Syrian Greeks attempted to squash, and thus, all Torah observance – see Megillat Antiochus.)

Interestingly, we conclude Kiddush Levanah with the prayer of “Aleinu Leshabe’ach,” the same prayer that concludes Shacharit, Minchah, and Ma’ariv. Rabbi Yisrael Chaim Friedman of Rachov (Likutei Mahariach, order of Rosh Chodesh) explains that we do so because it is well known that Joshua composed this prayer of thanks upon conquering Jericho, and our Sages (in Bava Batra 75a) compare Moses and Joshua to the sun and moon, respectively. The face of Moses – the teacher – is compared to the sun, and the face of Joshua, – his student and thus his reflection – is compared to the moon.

Rabbi Friedman also offers another explanation. Since we “danced” before the moon during Kiddush Levanah, we may have accidentally given the impression that we were – heaven forbid! – praying to the moon. We therefore conclude with “Aleinu Leshabe’ach” which clearly indicates, without leaving any doubt, that our entire prayer was to “Adon Ha’kol – the Master of all [creation].”

With the Likutei Mahariach’s explanation, we can now also understand why we conclude each of our three daily prayers with Aleinu. We want to confirm that each and every word that we prayed from the outset of that prayer was directed only to G-d.

In concluding, I would like to note that the Aleinu prayer itself contains a triple repetition: “shelo asanu k’go’yei ha’aratzot – that He has not made us like the nations of the earth,” “shelo asanu k’mishpechot ha’adamah – that He has not made us like families of the earth,” and “shelo sam chelkeinu kahem ve’goralenu k’chal hamonam – that He has not made our portion like theirs, nor our lot like their multitudes.” All three verses are basically making the same statement: that G-d has chosen us and given us a standing unique among all the nations, from our very beginning and for all eternity.

What a beautiful prayer with which to conclude a prayer that beckons our souls to cleave to Hashem, repeatedly, every single month, as we await our final deliverance with great anticipation, speedily in our days!

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Q & A: Kiddush Levanah, Repeating Verses Three Times (Part IV)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A "rifle-holding" lesson at a Palestinian Authority summer camp.
Palestinian Authority Incites Summer Camp Kids with AK-47 Rifles
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-062615

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Perhaps on a deeper level, the mitzvah of parah adumah at this junction was not just to purify the body, but the spirit as well.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Halacha isn’t random; it’s a mechanism guiding individuals and society to a higher ethical plateau.

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

The greatest of men, Moshe, had to wait for Hashem to sprinkle purifying waters on Bnei Yisrael to mark the conclusion of the period of death.

My Plate, My Food
‘My Loaf Is Forbidden To You’
(Nedarim 34b)

Of Chukkim “Satan and the nations of the world made fun.” They may appear irrational & superstitious

I realized from this story that I was sent as a messenger from above. Hashem has many helpers in this world to help do his work.

Tosafos answers that nevertheless the sprinkling is a part of his taharah process.

“What difference does that make?” replied Shraga. “What counts is the agreement that we made. I said two hundred fifty and you accepted.”

Zaidie’s legacy of smiles and loving words was all but buried with him, now the family fights over $

Israel’s complaining frustrated Moshe, making it increasingly hard for him to lead effectively

Dovid’s musical Torah teachings were designed to penetrate the soul and the emotions.

It occurred to me, as my brain rattled in my skull on a two-hundred mile ride through rural Virginia, that our souls work in much the same way.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-kiddush-levanah-repeating-verses-three-times-part-iv/2013/07/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: