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Why do we make such a big fuss about Kiddush Levanah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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It was taught in the academy of Rabbi Yishmael: Even if Israel merited no other privilege than to greet their Father in heaven once a month [during the recitation of the Kiddush Levanah], it would be sufficient for them.
(Talmud Sanhedrin 42a)

The Jewish People are compared to the moon. Just as the moon waxes and wanes, so, too, the our nation finds its humble roots in the Egyptian slave houses, but then went on to become the Chosen Nation and steadily grew in stature and influence until we peaked in the era of Kings David and Solomon. Afterwards, we steadily waned; culminating with the destruction of our two Holy Temples and the ensuing exiles and persecution which we have so long endured. But just as the moon’s light is always renewed, so, too, the Messiah will come and we will once again reach our zenith—but this time we will never again dim.

Just as the moon’s light is always renewed, so, too, the Messiah will come and we will once again reach our zenith—but this time we will never again dim
Quoting from the Kiddush Levanah liturgy: “He directed the moon to renew itself as a crown of glory to [the Jews] who are borne [by Him] from birth, who likewise are destined to be renewed...”

Seeing the moon renewing itself infuses us with hope that very soon we too will be renewed. Thus it is customary to make a big fuss of Kiddush Levanah—it is joyously recited amongst crowds with singing and dancing and fine clothing is worn.


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Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Kiddush
Prayer recited at the beginning of the Sabbath or Holiday meal--both the evening and afternoon meals. This prayer, acknowledging the sanctity of the day, is recited over a cup of wine or grape juice.
Sanhedrin
The Jewish Supreme Court. The court would convene in a designated chamber in the Holy Temple, and was comprised of 71 of the greatest scholars of the time. Continued after the destruction of the Temples, but was dissolved in the 5th century when due to Roman persecution the seat of Torah scholarship relocated from Israel to Babylon.
David
King of Israel who succeeded Saul, becoming king of Israel in 876 BCE. Originally a shepherd, he became popular after he killed the Philistine strongman, Goliath. He is the progenitor of the Davidic royal dynasty -- which will return to the throne with the arrival of King Messiah.
Solomon
Son of King David, and succeeded him on the throne of Israel in the year 836 BCE. he was the wisest man to ever live. He built the first Holy Temple and authored several books of the Bible.