Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sun and Moon, Bless the Lord (especially today!)

As I learned in last Friday's Wall Street Journal, today holds a special place in the Jewish calendar. Sunrise this morning was an exact replica of the first sunrise of creation. At least, that's what the Talmudic scholars said. As the WSJ put it: "According to Talmudic calculations, every 28 years the sun is in the exact position it occupied at the time of Creation."
So this little observance, called "Birkat Hachamah" (blessing of the sun), is repeated every 28 years, but with the environment being such a hot topic lately (sorry about that!), it seems as though the blessing will be getting special attention this year in many Jewish communities.
There's a special prayer to mark the moment (the same prayer that is prescribed whenever you see some wonder of nature), and it sounds to me just like something you'd expect to hear St. Francis say: "Blessed are You, King of the Universe, who makes the works of creation."

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