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Thoughts By The Moonlight

They asked one of the wise men of Chelm - What is more valuable, the sun or the moon? He answered "The moon of course, because it shines at night when it is dark and we need it. But what good is the sun?! It shines when we have broad daylight!!"

On Rosh Chodesh we celebrate the new moon. As we know Hallel is said. But the question is with a bracha or without. [For whatever reason people don't get as heated up about the Hallel issue on Rosh Chodesh like they do with respect to Hallel on Yom Haátzmaut.] That is a major argument. Many Sefardim do not make a bracha while Ashkenazim do. Isaac Dweck [believe me, I made up the name, although I am sure that there are a number of them in Flatbush and Deal] finds himself serving as chazan in a shteibel in Williamsburg. Is it permitted for him to make a bracha, contrary to his custom?

There is a famous responsa in the sefer Chaim Sheál [99] where he rules that he should make a bracha. This is based on a Gemara in Pesachim [106a] where Rav Ashi made the night kiddush during the day because that was the local custom, even though it was contrary to his minhag. [See also Igros Moshe Vol. 2/94 for a similar responsa about Hallel on Pesach Night and Baruch Hashem Lólam amen vámen.]

My fathers brother was from Chelm and he was a big talmid chacham.

while, i can't say the same for the night kiddush (which has a particular bracha of m'kadesh hashabbat), the hallel issue might be a little complex to solve.

the sefardim, holding like the mechaver, only make a bracha when completing the hallel (i.e. full hallel) and would thereby make the bracha of "ligmor et ha'hallel" (i think that's the nussach, i don't have the shulchan orech in front of me).

if isaac found himself as chazan in w-berg, which bracha would he make? l'kro or l'gmor? since neither a-zim or s-dim complete the hallel on RC, i would presume the bracha to make is l'kro.

of course, i am only overanalzying your example of hallel on RC (just to show you that even a zionist like me can be heated up for RC too). but in reality, your issue/question would apply across the spectrum of minhagim and when brachot are involved. what a religion!

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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