Women and Kiddush Levana
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- This topic has 44 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 8 months ago by kooljew.
June 16, 2013 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #609682
Rabbi Elefant said today that the reason that women don’t say Kiddush Levanah is because it is a mitzvah that is done outside and kol kvodah bas melech pnimah.
I have several problems with this.
1. Kiddush Levanah can be said inside if necessary.
2. Women go outside shopping.
3. Women go to hear megillah, daven on Rosh HaShana etc.
I believe there are other reasons why there generally women do not recite kiddush levanahJune 16, 2013 8:38 pm at 8:38 pm #961477WIYMember
1. The preferred way to do the mitzvah is outdoors, since they cant do the mitzvah properly due to kol kvodah they were not obligated in it.
2. Im assuming that once upon a time in our history this didn’t go on. The world has changed and any girl who is Tzenuah is not always out and about. Read the story of Dina in the Torah. I would think that it is even less Tzanua for girls to be out at night.
3. What is your point, those are all indoors?June 16, 2013 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #961478rebdonielMember
Sanhedrin 42a says that the practice in E”Y then to say Baruch Mehadesh Hodashim is proper for women (Maharsha says women don’t remember the long braha, and the Einei Shmuel says women don’t bless with HaShem’s name.
The Gemara’s implication is that women ought to say something, if even the shorter version. This is Meiri’s peshat in the Gemara, and Hakham Ovadia Yosef paskens like this le ma’aseh (Yabia Omer OC 5:36).
Teshuvot Ktav Sofer (OC #34) says that women make some kind of braha, but not the one men say.
The Salmat Haim gives the reason “kol kevuda bat melech penima” (1:259). Others say that women are patur because Hava caused the pegam halevana (Shelah Sha’ar haOsiyot Kuf).
Maharam Shik (OC 90) says that when to say kiddush levana is based upon figuring out the calendar, and this was a skill performed only by men.
In a similar fashion, the Yeshu’ot Ya’akov (OC 426:1) writes that the beracha of kiddush levana is related to “haskalah and Torah She ba’al peh,” things in which women are not involved.
The overwhelming score of Ashkenazic poskim say a woman is patur.
I wonder what he’d say about whether a woman is obligated in birkat ha hammah.
Here is the Shelah inside:
The reason goes back to two ideas that have been linked: one being the legend that explains why the moon is smaller than the sun, and the other being the discussion of the consequences for women of Eve’s sin.
In the future the defect of the moon will pass away, and the
light of the moon will be like the light of the sun. . . . . It appears to me that for this reason women distance themselves from this commandment, even though they fulfill many positive time-bound commandments, such as shofar-blowing and [taking] the lulav [on Sukkot]. We have never seen women performing Kiddush Levanah, even if they are careful with all the prayers, because the first woman caused the defect of the moon, that is the sin of Eve, and they distance themselves because of the shame (bushah), even though a tikkun (repair) was found for them after this, in that they did not sin in the matter of the (golden) calf, and they did not listen to the first snake, who is the Satan, who is the Evil Inclination,
and therefore Rosh Hodesh was given to women that they should keep it more than the men. In any case the woman is the first cause (sibah rishonah) by which the seducer entered the world, and afterwards the men strengthened him with the (sin of the) calf, and we are still not purified.”June 17, 2013 3:03 am at 3:03 am #961479
It is a tremendous Stirah that women say Birchas Hachamah and not HaLevana. Either they are Mevatel a Chiyuv Brachah every month or they make Brachos Levatalah every 28 years.June 17, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #961480
Either they are Mevatel a Chiyuv Brachah every month or they make Brachos Levatalah every 28 years.
It’s a reshus. No stirah.June 17, 2013 1:16 pm at 1:16 pm #961481emanParticipant
The Chasam Sofer gives the same reason that women should not light Chanuka candles unless they are mechuyiv (ie no male around)June 17, 2013 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #961482
DY: It’s very difficult to call a B’rachah a R’shus. Why is it different than any other Birchas R’iyah? (I really, really don’t hear the answer that because this one Brachah is called being “Mekabel the Sh’chinah” that it’s a special P’tur for women. EIther they’re Chayav or they’re not. You can’t volunteer a Brachah like that.)June 17, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #961483
Because the brachah itself is the mitzvah, and we’re assuming it’s
a z’man grama.June 19, 2013 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #961484
Women go outside for every reason under the sun but they have a minhag not to go outdoors for one minute because kol kavodah bas melech?
How do they walk to shul? Does the walk take longer than a minute?June 19, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm #961487
It’s not just walking outside, it’s a gathering.June 19, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #961488
So women cannot attend outdoor gatherings such as barbecues, block parties, and outdoor weddings?June 20, 2013 3:40 am at 3:40 am #961489
Jfem, there is definitely geder of tznius involved, which is why certain minhagim developed as they did, such as women not performing kiddush levanah and hadlokas ner Chanukah. “Cannot” implies issur, and it might be hanhagah tovah.June 20, 2013 3:54 am at 3:54 am #961490
Whatever you call it, it just doesn’t make sense. So let’s say the minhag is for women not to participate in kiddush levana because of a geder of tznius. Fine. In that case you have to say that kal v’chomer, the geder of tznius would also lead to a minhag of women not participating in any public gathering which is longer than kiddush levana, such as the examples I mentioned above.
I don’t know any woman whose minhag is to avoid barbecues because of a geder of tznius. As far as I know, this is simply not a practice that anyone follows. So why do we follow the minhag when it comes to kiddush levana, but not to other outdoor gatherings?June 20, 2013 4:17 am at 4:17 am #961491agentemesParticipant
The Mesivta Gemara Eruvin pinienim vihalachos has a nice piece on this chelek 5 daf 100June 20, 2013 4:26 am at 4:26 am #961492
So why do we follow the minhag when it comes to kiddush levana, but not to other outdoor gatherings?
Maybe we should.June 20, 2013 9:19 am at 9:19 am #961493
DY: What women, other than Chabad, don’t light Channukah candles? That would be a Bittul Asei Mid’rabannan (unless their husbands light for them). Chabad are just plain wrong on this.June 20, 2013 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #961494
Sam, they are yotzei with their husbands rather than being mekayem ner l’chol echad.June 20, 2013 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #961495
DY: (Or their husbands are Yotzei with them if the husbands come home from work late.) That’s fine. It’s a weird application of Ishto K’gufo. That has nothing to do with not going outside.June 20, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #961496
The point is that they would light on their own, except that since they would light outside in a common chatzer, it would be a tzniyus issue.June 23, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #961497
Daas Yochid: One may recite Kiddush Levanah on their own.Although there is a mitzva of Brov Am but that applies equally to every single mitzvah. We don’t say women shouldn’t hear havdalah because there is a mitzvah of brov am. Eliminating kiddush levanah because they might come to a gathering doesn’t make sense. Let women eliminate shofar.Rebbe Yisrael Salanter was quoted as saying women should daven at home. He didn’t say lets adopt a minhag that women don’t daven. A woman who wants to daven at home without brov am is fine. Likewise, if there is a tznius issue we should tell women to recite kiddush levanah at home. There are other reasons mentioned by the poskim why women don’t say kiddush levanah. But I don’t think kol kevoda bas melech is one of them.June 23, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm #961498
Kooljew, they could have lit by the doorway to the house also. The point is that the minhag was to do the mitzvah a particular way, and since tzniyus proscribed women from performing the mitzvah that way, they didn’t adopt a different way, since they weren’t obligated to.June 24, 2013 3:22 am at 3:22 am #961499yehudayonaParticipant
I think the mods should change the title of this to something like “Women and Kiddush Levana.”June 24, 2013 3:47 am at 3:47 am #961500
Then I won’t be able to find the thread.June 24, 2013 4:30 am at 4:30 am #961501Josh31Participant
Kol Kevudah Bas Melech Penima is far more compromised when a woman has to go to work to support her family, than by a once a month ceremony.June 24, 2013 4:33 am at 4:33 am #961502popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Kol Kevudah Bas Melech Penima is far more compromised when a woman has to go to work to support her family, than by a once a month ceremony.
Not really, because it depends what the need is. For a woman to go out and support her husband in learning is a great need, and can counterbalance large needs. For a woman to go mumble kiddush levana is not a very great need, and does not counterbalance much.June 24, 2013 4:45 am at 4:45 am #961503Josh31Participant
The need may override Kol Kevudah Bas Melech Penima, but that ideal is still compromised when she goes to work outside the home.
In the family of the Kohen Gadol, where Kol Kevudah Bas Melech Penima is essential, the community makes sure the wife never has to go to work or wash clothes in public. If she needs to look at the moon and get her inspiration, she will have a back yard with a high fence, and the money to buy a fine telescope if she wants.June 24, 2013 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #961504
Daas Yochid: I actually don’t believe your entire premise of chanuka has any basis. where does it say that women don’t light because of kol havoda? For whatever reason they hold ishto kigufo. Also, once again I must point out that the mitzva of brov am has nothing at all to do with kiddush levanah more than any other mitzva. According to you, women shouldn’t daven or hear havdlah or shofar because brov am applies to them as well.June 24, 2013 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #961505computer777Participant
Why should ishto kgufo apply by chanukah candles only? Where do we have that one person can do a mitzvah and that exempts his spouse?June 24, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #961506
computer777 That’s a good question. Ask the maharshal he says the sevora only by chanuka candles. The mishne berura quotes him by chanuka candles and nowhere else. Not by tefila, lulav, megillah, shofar. Like i said earlier chanuka candles and ishto kigufo are totally irrelavent to this discussion of kiddush levanah. I guess min hadin one person lighting suffices for the entire family. So we’ll use ishto kgufo to say that mehadrin doesn’t apply to them. We dont really have that anywhere else. But no one says ishto kegufo by kiddush levanah thats for sure.June 25, 2013 3:15 am at 3:15 am #961507
Kooljew, it’s a Chasam Sofer. I linked it earlier. Here it is again:June 25, 2013 4:51 am at 4:51 am #961508jbaldy22Member
When I was in preschool I remember the teachers telling us about kiddush levana and they decided it was some sort of male conspiracy and thats why they weren’t allowed to do it. They weren’t even 100% sure what guys did by kiddush levana.June 25, 2013 5:10 am at 5:10 am #961509
Your preschool teacher told you that kiddush levanah was a “male conspiracy”??
First of all, that is highly inappropriate. Second of all…you knew the word “conspiracy” as a preschooler??June 25, 2013 5:22 am at 5:22 am #961510rebdonielMember
I saw another explanation as to why women shouldn’t say kiddush levanah (which I reject):
The Magen Avraham paskens according to the view of the Shela I gave above; the fact that women don’t make the brakha because of Hava’s sin amounts to the klal of Ein Kateigar Na’aseh Saneigar.”
The Debretziner Rav (Be’er Moshe 6:135) says that women light candles on Erev Shabbat to be metaken Hava’s sin. Why would women be metaken one sin they caused, and not be metaken another sin (by reciting kiddush levana)?
After offering an excursus on Ein Kateigar Na’aseh Saneigar, he says that since kiddush levana involves making a Bracha on the actual moon that Hava caused harm to, it is not proper for women to make a bracha. However the candle only symbolizes the Neshama and is not the Neshama itself therefore the Klal of Ein Kateigar Na’aseh Saneigar does not apply and by lighting the candles it rectifies their mistake.
I remain steadfast in my position that women ought to make some form of kiddush levana, as every opposing answer I see is mystical and not legal in nature.June 25, 2013 5:33 am at 5:33 am #961511jbaldy22Member
they (it was a couple of morahs per class) may have used some other word besides for conspiracy – I don’t remember precisely as it was a while ago. I did learn to read at a very young age though and had a decent vocabulary I probably would have known what the word meant at the time. They probably figured the kids had no clue what they were talking about.June 27, 2013 3:30 am at 3:30 am #961512
DaasYochid: Yasher Koach! I really enjoyed that Chasam Sofer. I’m sorry I didn’t look it up sooner. Thank you! I have to think further about it. But please realize that the mishne berura does not bring that down but brings down a different reason. When I asked about Shofar and tefillah if you’re going like the Chasam Sofer it’s specifically because it’s not tznius for women to go outside at NIGHT and be around men. It would not apply to any mitzvah done by day where women of course go outdoors. So my questions were valid. Still, don’t women go out at night also? Is the Chasam Sofer saying women should not go out at night? No of course not! Every night of Chanuka there is only one preferred time to do the mitzvah. If a women wanted to do the mitzvah ktikun chachomim she would go outside around nightfall and light at night with all the other men. She couldn’t do it a different night because each night is its own mitzvah. Also, she couldn’t do it later because that is not ktikun chachomim. In fact there are poskim today in Eretz Yisrael that say that if one missed nightfall at the preferred time he no longer makes a beracha. Now in America, we say the ikur pisumei nisa is indoors. But originally, after there were no longer people walking in the street, the mitzvah was over. There was a very small window of opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah. Consequently, all the men were outside at that exact time.The Chasam Sofer says this exact point it is not tznius for women to go 1. outdoors 2. at night 3. with all the men around. Kiddush Levanah has at least a week in which she could or any man could do it Lechatchila. There is no tikun chachomim to do it the first possible time. There might be other enhancements like zrizim or bigdei Shabbos or rov am, but a man who recited Kiddush levanah alone on the 13th day has fulfilled the mitzvah lechatchila. No bdieved’s involved. Not so by Chanuka where if you didn’t do the mitzvah at that time, it either was not a mitzvah or nowadays possibly bdieved. So I definitely see your point from the Chasam Sofer but it really doesn’t apply to Kiddush levanah. I would venture to say that the Chasam Sofer would disagree with you for the reasons I mentioned but I can’t argue that you definitely found a basis for someone to hang their hat on.June 27, 2013 4:13 am at 4:13 am #961513
I initially expressed surprise at kol kvoda being a source for the minhag for women not to say Kiddush levana. While the Chasam Sofer would say that it is not, I could hear a different acharon going further and saying that it is. But basically I objected to kol kovoda being the sole explanation. And I still say that it can’t be. Of course women go outdoors all the time to do mitzvos. It isn’t really that, it’s a lack of tznius for a women to attend a male dominated gathering. That is not usually the context for kol kvoda. The gemora uses that to say that women don’t usually go collecting by knocking on doors. Here if we follow the way the Chasam Sofer used the sevora, since Kiddush levanah was usually said by men outdoors in a gathering at night, it is a lack of tznius for women to attend that gathering. There is nothing wrong per se for a woman to go outside to do a mitzvah. So I would still say that I was right in my initial assumption and that DaasYochid agrees with me as he himself states “It’s not just walking outside, it’s a gathering.” Kol kavoda applies in non gathering situations as well. So it’s a little misnomer to use that expression. Agav the Chasam Sofer did not use the exact expression kol kavoda bas melech pnimis because like I said it would not have been applicable. That it used for indoors as opposed to outdoors. Nothing to do with a gathering. But the Chasam Sofer does say kol koavoda. So perhaps the acharon took a poetic license and used that expression for a situation not generally referred to. We would have to find the acharon that said the sevora and see if that really is what he meant.June 27, 2013 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #961514
See Shulchan Aruch 73:1 and Rambam Hilchos Ishus 13:11. Both pasken that a woman shouldn’t go outside much (in general) and both give the reason as Kol Kevudah. It stems from the Gemara in Kesubos.June 27, 2013 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #961515rationalfrummieMember
^ Then I guess very frum women have been ignoring the rambam and the mechaber on this one for many years. The metzius is that today, tznius women go outside for a myriad of good reasons.June 27, 2013 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #961516
temimus: we are past that. why do women go outside to go to shul or to hear shofar? There is nothing wrong for a woman to go outside for a few minutes to her backyard to say Kiddush levanahJune 27, 2013 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #961517
What do you mean “we are past that”? It’s in Shulchan Aruch. The principle and the idea certainly still applies. (Are we past any other part of S”A?) And it explains how Kol Kevudah applies to going outside. And it explains the above discussion how Kol Kevudah can mean they don’t go outside for other outdoor activities including mitzvah gatherings.June 27, 2013 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #961518gavra_at_workParticipant
DY & KJ: If you read the Chasam Sofer inside, he does not bring “Kol Kevodah”. What he specifically says it is not the Kavod of Jewish Women “to go outside in public at the beginning of the night amongst men”. Logically, this is because there are groups of women (from the guild of Seamstresses) that do go out in the early evening amongst men, and no Jewish woman would want to be thought as one of those.
Once the “Minhag” became that women don’t light, it went forward from there even though the reason no longer exists.June 27, 2013 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #961519oomisParticipant
Is “kol kevuda bas melech pnimah” HALACHA, or is it an hashkafic observation expressed by Chazal as their opinion about women? Is there any halacha that states women may not go outside, gather in public places, etc., or is it the feeling by our Chachomim that this is what is best for women? And does “pnimah” necessarily mean literally inside (the house)?June 27, 2013 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #961520
It’s Halacha. As said, its in Shulchan Aruch and Rambam. See my first comment above.June 28, 2013 6:39 pm at 6:39 pm #961521
Temimus: When I said we are past that I meant in this discussion. You obviously didn’t read the previous posts. Women do many mitzvos by going outside like walking outside to shul to hear shofar, going to shul to hear megillah, going outside to join a tzibbur for tefillah, tashlich (ok that’s a sore point). To single out one mitzvah, namely of Kiddush levanah because of kol kvodah is ridiculous. Also, as I pointed out Kiddush levanah can be done in the woman’s backyard. So while kol kovoda is certainly relevant it hasn’t stopped women from doing other mitzvos. So why single out Kiddush levanah. Daas Yochid was trying to explain it that based on a Chasam sofer that Kiddush levanah was usually done in a group of mostly men outdoors and at night so specifically Kiddush levanah developed this minhag. And I hear that, but to just say kol kvoda is untenable.June 28, 2013 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #961522
Gavra at Work: I agree with you in principle but he does actually have the words “kol kvodah”. I’m not sure if he was hinting to the concept of kol kovda bas melech pnima, or just using those words for their exact meaning.
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