The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Birkat Hachama: Blessing of the Sun

Well, once again I missed it.

Every 28 years, according to Talmudic tradition, the sun returns to the exact position it occupied when the earth was created. I can recall some of my Jewish friends commenting on this over the years and describing how their families would celebrate the event with the Blessing of the Sun.
The Blessing of the Sun celebrated at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, on April 8.

This year was the 28th year and Wednesday, April 8, was the day. (In the Jewish calendar, this was the 14th day of Nisan in the year 5769.) According to tradition, observant Jews rise early and join together to bless the sun. The words of the blessing -- the Birkat Hachama -- are: "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe who makes the works of Creation."

I have always wanted to observe this occasion to see exactly how this blessing is celebrated, but never seem to remember until after the event. This year was no exception. Once again I forgot. The trouble is, I'm pretty sure this was my last chance, unless I manage to live to be 93. I suppose it's possible, so I'll set my alarm for an hour before sunrise on April 8, 2037.

Sun and moon, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. - Dan 3:62

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