Which direction is one to face by Kiddush Levana?

  1. Question: [Sunday, 7th 5783]

Which direction is one to face by Kiddush Levana? I always thought that one is to face the moon and my friend told me last night to face Mizrach. Which is correct?


One is to face Jerusalem [i.e. Mizrach in USA] upon saying Kiddush Levana, rather than facing the moon. Nevertheless, it is evident from the Poskim that many were accustomed to face the moon. The Rebbe always faced East upon saying Kiddush Levana.

Explanation: The Shulchan Aruch, and classic Poskim, make no mention of which direction one is to face while reciting Kiddush Levana. Accordingly, some people would face the moon being that after all we are sanctifying the new moon and Halacha states that one is to look at the moon prior to starting a blessing. However, others would specifically not face the moon in order so it does not look like that they are praying to the moon. Rather, they would face towards Jerusalem just like they do when they pray. Practically, most Poskim who discuss this question write that one should face towards east just like he does by prayer. [Each country is to face Jerusalem in his direction; thus some countries face east and some west.]


Sources: See Yesod Veshoresh Havoda Shaar 9:1; Levushei Mordechai Tinyana 117 in name of Birchas Habayis; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:202; Rivivos Efraim 6:426; Siddur Eshkol; Siddur Otzer Hatefilos; Betzel Hachochmah 3:64; Ishei Yisrael 40:29; Likkut Dinei Rosh Chodesh 12 footnote 68; Maaseh Melech p. 156

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