web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, released by Taliban in exchange for 5 Gitmo prisoners
Report: US Sgt Released by Taliban for 5 Gitmo Prisoners to be Charged with Desertion
Latest Judaism Stories
Tissot_The_Waters_Are_Divided

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Vol. LXVI No. 3                           5775 New York City CANDLE LIGHTING TIME January 16, 2015–25 Teves 5775 4:36 p.m. NYC E.S.T.   Sabbath Ends: 5:40 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 6:08 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Va’era Weekly Haftara: Koh Amar Hashem (Ezekiel 28:25-29:21) Daf Yomi: Yevamos 104 Mishna Yomit: Kelim 17:2-3 Halacha Yomit: […]

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Vol. LXVI No. 1                           5775 New York City CANDLE LIGHTING TIME January 2, 2015 – 11 Teves 5775 4:22 p.m. NYC E.S.T.   Sabbath Ends: 5:27 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 5:54 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: VaYechi Weekly Haftara: VaYikrevu Yemei Dovid (I Kings 2:1-12) Daf Yomi: Yevamos 90 Mishna Yomit: Kelim […]

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: