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Shabbat Prayers: Shabbat Mevarchim VII

The Talmud (Menachot 29a) teaches that Moshe had difficulty understanding the Mitzvah of Sanctifying the New Moon, until God pointed out the new moon. The Chozeh of Lublin explains this based on the law (Berachot 51b) that, “‘He fixes his eyes on the cup of wine over which he will make the blessing: so that his attention should not wander from it.”


The idea behind this law is to be a “Tov Ayin,” one with a good and generous eye. This was derived from the story of Moshe’s difficulty with the moon: Moshe did not understand how the moon that we see is already six hours after its Molad, its birth, and yet is not holy until we declare its holiness.

God answered Moshe, who was called “Tov Ayin,” (Nedarim 38a) because he generously gave all the Torah he received, that one who is a Tov Ayin sees things with generosity and expansiveness, and it is that vision that brings Holiness to the New Moon. People who see only as things affect them have limited vision, cannot appreciate the full gift of the New, and are unable to truly sanctify the New Moon.

It is therefore important for a person to practice becoming a “Tov Ayin,” in the week before Shabbat Mevarchim, so that he can have the vision necessary to sanctify the moon.

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