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Birkat Hachamah

Birkat Hachamah

Thank G‑d for the Sun!

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One who sees the sun at its turning point should say, "Blessed is He who reenacts the works of Creation."—Talmud, Berachot 59b.

Every 28 years the sun returns to the exact position, at the same time of the week, that it occupied at the time of its creation—at the beginning of the fourth day of creation. A special blessing – called Birkat Hachamah, "the sun blessing" – is recited to mark this event.

The last time we performed this special mitzvah was on the morning of April 8, 2009 (the morning before Passover).

The existence of nearly all life on Earth is fueled by light from the sun. Every morning without fail, the sun rises in the east and bathes us with its sustaining rays, causing flora to grow and, through the process of photosynthesis, providing oxygen for all fauna.

The blessing should be recited outdoors, amidst a grand gathering of men, women and childrenSome may call this phenomenon nature.

We gather and declare otherwise:

"Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who reenacts the works of creation."

The Service:

The blessing should be recited after sunrise and before a quarter of the day has elapsed—the earlier the better. If one missed this time, the blessing can be recited until midday.

Ideally, the blessing should be recited outdoors after the morning prayers, amidst a grand gathering of men, women and children—as befits the excitement accompanying the fulfillment of such a rare mitzvah. Your local Chabad center will likely be hosting a Birkat Hachamah ceremony.

Make sure to bring along the kids and have them say the blessing. It's a memory for a lifetime!

The blessing is traditionally preceded and followed by a short selection of Psalms and prayers. Before reciting the actual blessing on the sun, stand at attention with feet together and look at the sun.

Click here for much more information on Birkat Hachamah.

Illustrations by Yehuda Lang. To view more artwork by this artist, click here.
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