It is a very pious act to bless the moon at the close of the Sabbath, when one is dressed in his best attire and perfumed. If the blessing is to be performed on the evening of an ordinary week-day the best dress is to be worn. According to the Kabbalists the blessings upon the moon are not to be said till seven full days after her birth, but, according to later authorities, this may be done after three days. The reason for not performing this monthly service under a roof, but in the open air, is because it is considered as a reception of the presence of the Shechinah, and it would not be respectful so to do anywhere but in the open air. It depends very much upon circumstances when and where the new moon is to be consecrated, and also upon one’s own predisposition, for authorities differ. We will close these remarks with the conclusion of the Kitzur Sh’lu on the subject, which, at p. 72, col. 2, runs thus:—
“When about to sanctify the new moon, one should straighten his feet (as at the Shemonah-esreh) and give one glance at the moon before he begins to repeat the ritual blessing, and having commenced it he should not look at her at all. Thus should he begin—’In the united name of the Holy and Blessed One and His Shechinah, through that Hidden and Concealed One! and in the name of all Israel!’ Then he is to proceed with the ‘Form of Prayer for the New Moon;’ word for word, without haste, but with solemn deliberation, and when he repeats—
“’Blessed is thy
Former, blessed is thy Maker, blessed is thy
Possessor, blessed is thy Creator.’
“He is to meditate on the initials of the four divine epithets which form ‘Jacob,’ for the moon, which is called ‘the lesser light,’ is his emblem or symbol, and he is also called ‘little’ (see Amos vii. 2). This he is to repeat three times. He is to skip three times while repeating thrice the following sentence, and after repeating three times forward and backward: thus (forward)—’Fear and dread shall fall upon them by the greatness of Thine arm; they shall be as still as a stone;’ thus (backward)—’Still as a stone may they be; by the greatness of Thine arm may fear and dread fall on them;’ he then is to say to his neighbor three times, ‘Peace be unto you,’ and the neighbor is to respond three times, ‘Unto you be peace.’ Then he is to say three times (very loudly), ‘David, the king of Israel, liveth and existeth!’ and finally, he is to say three times—
“’May a good omen
and good luck be upon us and upon all Israel!