Blessing the Sun

(redirected from Birchat Hahamah)

Blessing the Sun (Birchat Hahamah)

March-April; every 28 years on the first Wednesday in Jewish month of Nisan
According to Jewish tradition, God made the sun, the moon, and the stars on the fourth day of Creation—a Wednesday, according to ancient reckoning—and once every 28 years the sun returns to the same astronomical position that it held on that day. The Talmud says that the turning point of this 28-year sun cycle occurs at the Vernal Equinox on a Tuesday evening (the first in the month of Nisan) at 6:00 p.m. in Jerusalem. But since the sun is not visible at that time in all parts of the world, the blessing isn't recited until the following morning at sunrise. The blessing is said while standing, and the sun must be visible.
The last blessing of the sun occurred on April 8, 1981, with about 50,000 Jews gathered at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest shrine. Similar celebrations took place on top of Israel's highest building in Tel Aviv and at the Empire State Building in New York City. The next Blessing of the Sun will take place in 2009.
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 199