I have the privilege of preparing our Shul’s AYnouncements. (Hat tip to past president SR, for coining the term AYnouncements as in Ahavas Yisroel Announcements.) Although the weekly deadline nature of the job creates some pressure, I do consider it a privilege to be able to serve the Tzibbur in this manner.
An added bonus of the job is sharing it with a number of members to pre-read it – looking for omissions and corrections. One of the Rabbi’s sons is a pre-reader and he often will share halachic times that should be included. Last week’s AYnouncements had this inclusion: “Last Time for Kiddush Levanah is all night following Wednesday 12/7.”
(Full disclosure: It was actually missing the final h in Levanah in the AYnouncements, because it was a late addition, which was not resent to the pre-readers, and I forgot the rule: A Hebrew “hei” gets an English “h” at the end of the word.)
Anyway, this month that note was very relevant because we had a lot of overcast days and I did not have a chance to say Kiddush Levanah with the Tzibbur. Thankfully, I remembered the AYnouncements note this morning and it was still the night following Wednesday 12/7 – the last chance to say it. So as I was on the way to Shul, I pulled out my Interlinear Minchah/Maariv and crossed over to the east side of Main Street to see the almost full moon, and to say Kiddush Levanah.
As I finished I saw an older chasidish gentleman walking down a deserted Main Street smoking a cigarette. After he gave me a big Shulem Aleichem, I asked him if he had said Kiddush Levanah yet. He thought for a second and said that he hadn’t and he would say it with me. Since I already said it, I handed him the Interlinear Minchah/Maariv and listened with joy as he said a slow and beautiful Kiddush Levanah. Afterwards he thanked me profusely for being his shaliach for the reminder.
You can provide your own nimshal (moral) to the story, but to me it was as the author Sarah Riegler says “G-d Winked”. Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.