Hebrew word for moon
I just discovered that the Hebrew word for 'moon' is 'ירח'. Is לבנה also a word for moon? In Mishnaic Hebrew לבנה is moon, I was wondering if it has any significance in current Hebrew, or it's just ירח now.
The common word is ירח and it is used for the moons of other planets as well.
The word לבנה is more poetic and in modern Hebrew is used in the idiom "ברכת לבנה" or "קידוש לבנה", which means blessing/sanctification of the moon - a monthly ritual that is performed outside, at night, by reciting a series of prayers. This is also the origin of the idiom אותיות של קידוש לבנה (letters of Kidush Levana) which means very big letters.
Sahar סהר is another word for the moon, but it refers to its crescent form (like the symbol of the Islamic belief). This word appears in the Song of Solomon 7:3) שָׁרְרֵךְ אַגַּן הַסַּהַר - thy navel is like a round goblet. In modern Hebrew we have the word סהרורי (Saharuri) which means moonstruck. It is also used as a first-name for males.
the word "לבנה" is often considered very archaic Hebrew, Often reserved for the Mishnah and Poetry. Most people nowadays will use the word "ירח" for moon.