On the day before Passover, April 8, 2009, we will gather and recite the Blessing on the Sun, known as Birkat Hachamah. We will take the opportunity to thank G‑d for providing us with a sun that gives us warmth and energy. One of the sticking points regarding Birkat Hachamah is the question of what to do if the day is overcast. Can we still recite the blessing, as we nevertheless benefit from the sun despite the lack of direct sunlight, or should we wait another 28 years?

The general rabbinic consensus is that the sun must be at least partially visible through the clouds to recite the full blessing. Although we benefit from the sun's warmth even on a cloudy day, in order to recite the blessing we must directly enjoy the sun's light.

The sun has been shining since the six days of creation, with no obvious change occurring until today. As the sun has not been diminished – unlike the moon that waxes and wanes every month – the sun represents the constant unchanging presence of G‑d. In order to ensure that our connection to G‑d is strong, we must realize the direct – and not just peripheral – effect that G‑d has on our life every moment of the day.