Rav Vosner – Kiddush Levana Without Seeing The Moon

kiddush levanaBased on the gemara Sanhedrin 42, The Shulchan Aruch (OC 426:1) says that when you see the new moon you can make Kiddush Levana. The Rema adds that you can only say it at night while the moon shines and you can enjoy the light. Based on this, before we start to say the Bracha of kiddush levana we look at the moon. What happens if you made the bracha without seeing the moon, are you Yotzei?

Rav Shmuel Vosner (Shevet HaLevi 5:126) says that you are yotzei even if you did not see the moon. When the gemara says seeing the new moon it means that you know that there is a new moon and not that you actually saw it. The Rema’s requirement that it must be clearly visible is satisfied since you obviously felt the moons shine or else you would not have known to say kiddush levana. By not glancing at the actual moon you have not made a bracha livatala.

Even if a person were to have no sense of the moon whatsoever and he just followed the throngs making their way out of Shul to say kiddush levana, he would still be yotzei, says Rav Vosner. This is like if someone told you that there is a new moon and you said the bracha based on that report. Seeing the actual moon is not Mi’akev, as long as it is clearly visible to those who look up.

 Author’s Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation.  Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions. Revach.

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