Blessing of the Moon
Explanatory Note from Universal Jewish Encyclopedia
This prayer is recited by the Orthodox each month as soon as the rays of the new moon begin to be powerful. The ceremony is
performed no earlier than the third day after the new moon and no later than the 15th of the month, since after that the moon begins
to wane. The prayer is never recited on the evening before a Sabbath or a festival; preference is given to Saturday evening, since
the worshipers are still festively attired in honor of the Sabbath. However, the Sabbath must be before the 10th of the month. In Av
the prayer is postponed until after the ninth, and in Tishre until after the 10th. The reason for this is that the prayer must be recited
when the worshipers are in a cheerful frame of mind, a condition impossible in the early days of Av because of the mourning for
the loss of the Temple, and in Tishre because the first 10 days are the days of penitence.
The original form of the blessing was very brief: "Blessed art Thou 0 Lord, who renewest (sanctifiest) the moon" (Sanh.
42a). By the the 3rd Century this had been expanded to include' praise of God as Creator and Ruler of the World, and a hope for
the restoration of Israel. Later other additions were made, some of a nationalistic or messianic strain. Since the 16th or 17th centuries,
most communities have supplemented the prayer by the recitation of Psalms 121, 150 and 67.
The origin of this custom is extremely obscure. It may possibly go back very far, to the time of the kings, when the new
moon day was a great holiday; the custom may be even older than the entrance of the Israelites into Palestine. In any case, its usage
became fixed in the minds of the people because of the fact that the calendar was determined by the new moon, and the resulting
solemn announcement of the New Moon day in the period of the Second Temple.
THE JEWISH NEWS
D E TROIT
A Weekly Review
f■ /1I I-11
of Jewish Events
Michigan's Only English-Jewish Newspaper — Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle
VOLUME LV—No. 19
Roles of 'Silent'
$7.00 Per Year; This Issue 20c
17100 W. 7 Mile Rd., Detroit 48235—VE 8-9364—July 25, 1969
Change Made in Moon Blessing;
Weizmann Scientist Helps Test
Lunar Samplings of Astronauts
Another Tel Aviv Bombing
Victim: More Fighting Sees
an Increase in Casualties
HOUSTON (JTA)—When the Apollo 11 astronauts returned to earth with their moon
sample Thursday, a scientist of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, was on
hand. His analytical method will be used to probe for manifestations of life in the material.
The method developed by Dr. Emanuel Gil-Av and his chemistry department team permits
the detection of amino acids in trace quantities and simultaneous determination of optical
activity in the acids.
TEL AVIV (JTA)—One man was killed and a sec-
ond seriously injured when a terrorist bomb hidden in
an empty paint can exploded early Wednesday morning
opposite a maternity hospital and near government
Sixty-one-year-old Kalniann Unger of suburban
Ramat Gan was killed when the bomb exploded about
6 a.m. near a kiosk where he was selling bus tickets
Dr. Gil-Av spent a year, on a grant from the Natidhal Aeronautics and Space Admini-
stration, in the laboratory of Prof. John Oro of Houston University's department of physical
sciences, returning to Israel at the beginning of 1969. He was invited back to Houston to
participate in the examination of the lunar samples.
The purpose of his Houston stay was to adapt the procedures developed at Rehovot to
the special requirements of analyzing lunar samples. Meteorites and sediments of the Pre-
cambrian age served as model substances on which the sensitivity and reliability of the
methods were tested. A Weizmann In-
stitute team was trained to carry out
Three Generations in One Family
the analysis. and research was initiated
to refine and extend the method.
The other man, 50, and not identified, was serious-
ly injured as he waited for a bus near the kiosk which
is about 11/2 miles from the center of Tel Aviv on the
main road to Petah Tikva.
The terrorist bomb damaged the passenger shelter
at the bus station and shattered windows in the area.
There was very little movement in the area at the time,
The area was Immediately cordoned off and some
30 Arab suspects were picked up in Tel Aviv and in
other points around the country. Checkpoints were im-
mediately established at entrances to Tel Aviv, and a
number of people were interrogated.
Traffic was back to normal a short time afterward.
Municipal authorities said they planned to meet with
army officials to take steps to set up a civil defense
organization in the city.
On June 30, 11 persons were injured when a bomb
planted by terrorists exploded near Dizengoff Street in
the heart of Tel Aviv's busy business and cafe section.
(Related Story Page 30)
Make Supreme Sacrifice for Nation
JERUSALEM (JTA)—There was a special
poignancy in the news of the severe losses suffered
by Israel in the attack and brief occupation of the
Suez Canal Egyptian island stronghold—all six
Israelis killed in the fierce clash on Green Island
were sons of kibutzim members.
One of them was Chaim Sturman, grandson
of the Chaim Sturman who purchased the Beisan
Valley for Jewish settlement and who directed the
pre-state Hagana defense of the Jewish setlements
in the area. The grandfather was killed by Arabs
on a mission in 1938 to find a new site in the val-
ley for more settlements. His son, Moshe. was a
Hagana unit commander during the 1948 Libera-
tion War and was killed during the war in the
fighting in the Jezreel Valley.
The Moon . . . at the Very Creation
Excerpts gathered in "A Treasury of Jewish Quotations" by Dr. Joseph L. Baron
The moon was created only to facilitate study. — Rabbi Simeon bar
Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of
Ajalon. — Joshua 10:12.
Sun, moon and stars are obedient. — Apocrypha.
The moon was created so that the sun be not regarded a god. -- Rabbi
When God created the two great lights (Gen. 1:16), the moon asked,
"tan two kings wear one crown?" Said God, "Go, then, and make yourself
the lesser, to rule the night." — Rabbi Simeon ben Pazzi.
At the very creation, the Holy One stipulated with the sea to divide
and the heavens to be silent before Moses, with the sun and moon to stand
still for Joshua, with the ravens to feed Elijah, with the fire not to harm
Elaniah, Mishael and Azariah, with the lions not to injure Daniel, with the
sky to open for Ezekiel, and with the fish to vomit forth Jonah. — Rabbi
Jeremiah ben Eleazar, quoted in Maimonides' "Guide to the Perplexed."
Rabbi Goren Avows
Impact on Prayer
NEW YORK (JTP) — Thoughtful
Jews have speculated about the impact
on Judaism's religious outlook that
would be made by man's successful ex-
ploration of space. In a small way, the
answer began to emerge within hours
of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing
and exploration by Astronauts Neil
Armstrong and Col. Edwin E. Aldrin. Jr.
The word came from Israel where
Israel Armed Forces' Chief Chaplain
Gen. Shlomo Goren issued instructions
(Continued on Page 7)
Afforestation Workers in Israel Make Offer
to Plant 2,500 Acre Forest on Lunar Desert
TEL AVIV (JTA)—Afforestation workers working near Nablus have a
plan to beautify the moon—that is, if the moon needs it.
The workers, who heard the Apollo 11 astronauts' description of the
desert-like surface of the moon, sent the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration a congratulatory telegram on the United States extra-terres-
At the same time, they suggested that they are ready to plant a 2.500-
acre forest on the moon so it would not look so naked.
They did not, however, indicate how they intended to reach it.
Moon Eclipses All Other News in Israel
TEL AVIV (JTA)—Crowds of Israelis gathered at the United States Embassy
July 16 to listen to a description of the launching of Apollo 11 broadcast by the U.S.
Information Service from Cape Kennedy, Fla. They also viewed color films of the
preparations for the historic space flight. The Apollo launching was headline news
in Israeli papers, overshadowing all local events.