Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blessing of the Sun

The Blessing of the Sun (Birkat HaChama) is prayed only once in 28 years. Yesterday morning Jews all over the world gathered together to recite the blessings and Psalms that thank and praise God for his work of creation, both then and now.
Apparently this is a tradition from the Talmud. But who knew? I didn't. This time around, word spread quickly, thanks to the Internet and publicity from Chabad.
Over 50,000 people (!) did the ritual Wednesday at Jerusalem's Western Wall.
New Zealand saw the sunrise first and some of her 7,500 Jews said the prayers before any of us.
I myself stood alone in my back yard and prayed after I saw the sun come up over Jerusalem on the horizon.
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According to ancient rabbinical calculations, every 28 years the sun returns to its original alignment with other heavenly bodies, the same place it was on the fourth day of creation as told in the Book of Genesis.

If you'd like to read the short service, click on the special Chabad website. Other how-to information at BlessTheSun.org.
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My photo is of the sun rising over the Golan Heights above the Sea of Galilee.
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Now let's go over to SkyWatch Friday and see what skies other bloggers have shared.

29 comments:

Abe Lincoln said...

Wonderful. I enjoyed your post. My skywatch photo is on my Brookville Daily Photo blog.

Maria said...

Great post, DIna! I love the idea of blessing the sun every 28 years and thus uniting a community!
Your photo is beautiful and peaceful, too!

Guy D said...

I love the way you framed this pic, its perfect.

Have a great weekend
Guy
Regina In Pictures

bobbie said...

This is a gorgeous picture, Dina.

Happy Passover!

cieldequimper said...

Beautiful photo and very interesting post.

Katie said...

I never heard of such a thing but I love the thought of it and the doings of blessing the sun every 28years.

crete said...

As always, Dina, beautiful.

You roll in the sun like a god, thanks.

Ray

Katney said...

I love how you enlighten us on your traditions. I am learning how uneducated I am.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Thanks for the gorgeous photo and the information. I learned something today!

Erin said...

a lovely photo...and i too was not aware of the blessing of the sun ceremony. fasicinating piece of information.

CathM said...

The photo is perfect! Lovely post too... Blessings to you!

Gill - That British Woman said...

what a wonderful post......

Gill in Canada

Bim said...

Wow, how stunning is that view!

Me and my puppies said...

Perfect sun for the blessing.

Kay said...

Excellent post, Dina! This is so interesting. I love your photo! Shalom to you and yours.

Gaelyn said...

This sounds like a beautiful idea and your morning image is quite fitting.

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Dina: Out looking for the "spiritual posts" on Skywatch Good Friday. So found 78, 116, 210 (ours). You are at the EPICENTER!

Pietro said...

Very interesting post with a serene photograph, Dina.
Sometimes I wonder from where the immense temperature and the brightness of the Sun come; I also think when the Sun will extinguish (it will, certainly): no life at all, after that.

Cloudia said...

Celebrated here in Waikiki too!

first I'd heard of it also, Dina.

Happy Holiday! Next year in....
Wait! You ARE in Jerusalem!

How marvelous! Aloha

Kay said...

Happy Passover, Dina! Did you hear about President Obama celebrating Passover at the White House? I just love our president.

Nat@London Calling said...

I love the peace of the sun rising - so beautifully framed by nature.

JM said...

Very interesting information. I had no idea about that.

Daryl said...

Lovely .. Ziesen Pesach!

Arija said...

a wonderful sunrise Dina. I love the graduated halo around the sun.

mommanator said...

WHat a wonderful post and pic Thanks!

Meead said...

Happy Pesach Dina!

Reader Wil said...

Dina, I saw the Blessing of the Sun on the Chabad website and I am impressed by the final words :" Every creation is God's handiwork". I also like the fact that the rabbi said the sun creates electricity power. I saw the many solar panels.That is great: to combine religion with practical solutions for the problems of today, like global warming. This is a very beautiful ritual!. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for your words on Good Friday. We celebrated Maunday
Thursday in church with Holy Communion. " Why is this night different from all other nights?" That's what two children asked and so the service began. Shalom.

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

That's a beautiful sunset picture, Dina. And the significance of the story even makes it more beautiful.

Kendris said...

Beautiful shot! There is something very appealing about the internet, the icon of modern times, being used to spread awareness of such an ancient ritual.

Thanks for sharing!