What To See
You do not need to see the moon completely clearly in order to say kiddush levana, but you must be able to see the outline of the moon.
When To Say
Although the traditional time to say kiddush levana is after Shabbat, you may say kiddush levana from the third day (three periods of 24 hours) after the molad until 14 days and 18 hours after the molad. Ideal is after seven 24-hour periods.
It is customary not to say kiddush levana:
During the Nine Days before and including Tish’a b’Av;
On Friday night, and
On the evening of a Jewish festival.
Many people also have the custom not to say kiddush levana during the first 10 days of Tishrei.
However, you should do so if you do not expect to see the moon on any other night (due to weather or other factors), rather than miss the chance to say it that month. If you do say kiddush levana on Friday night or the after nightfall of a Jewish festival, say only the blessing, not the Psalms and other phrases that are normally said.
You may say kiddush levana (blessing on the new moon) only at night, after dark/tzeit ha'kochavim.
At the high latitudes, you may say kiddush levana during any season when the sky gets dark but not during seasons when the sky does not get dark.
You may say kiddush levana on Shabbat, if needed.
Examples: Shabbat is the last possible night that month to say kiddush levana.
The forecast is for clouds for the other nights until it will be too late that month to say kiddush levana.
Note: On Shabbat, say only the blessing of kiddush levana, not the psalms or other phrases (psukim).
You do not need a minyan to say kiddush levana.
Women do not say kiddush levana.
What To Say
The minimum you may say of kiddush levana and fulfill the mitzva is the blessing. The psalms and other psukim are customary but are not required.
Copyright 2015 Richard B. Aiken. Halacha L’Maaseh appears courtesy of www.practicalhalacha.com Visit their web site for more information.
This material is provided for informational purposes only – not a substitute for the consultation of a competent rabbi.