Blessing Of The Sun

Posted by JRed

Boy, the sun (Son?) sure seems to be a persistent theme this week in many different ways. Yesterday, we spent a great deal of time looking at what's known as the "Green Sun" and it's possible relationship to end times prophecy.

Today, we have more sun news. Whenever I come across news out of Israel or that having to do with the Jewish people I take notice, and for good reason. We know that the key to understanding where we are on God's prophetic timeline is to look closely at Israel for she is His timepiece.

The headline that caught my eye this morning was
"Jewish Groups Prepare For Rare Blessing of the Sun," which was a week old article just showing up on the wire now from Jewish Daily. Of course. I wouldn't expect anything different in His perfect timing.

As sunrise broke over New York City on the morning of April 8, 1981, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (at the time he was known just as Zalman Schachter) stood on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and sounded the shofar.

For more than two hours after, Shachter-Shalomi led some 300 mostly young adults in an obscure Jewish ritual known as Birkat Hachamah, or "blessing of the sun," a prayer recited once every 28 years when, the Talmud says, the sun reaches the same spot in the firmament as when it was created.

The same blessing is recited upon experiencing numerous natural phenomena, including but not limited to lightning, comets, meteor showers and even wondrous natural topography, such as great mountains, rivers and vast wildernesses. When recited for these other experiences, the blessing is recited alone without additional verses, Psalms or statements relating to the Sun. The text of the blessing itself follows:

"Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe who makes the works of Creation."


According to an account of the service in The New York Times, participants raised their hands in prayer, asked for healing for individuals and the earth, and released 70 balloons. At the conclusion, some worshipers joined in the singing of a Hebrew version of “Let the Sun Shine In” from the rock musical “Hair.”

The rite, Shachter-Shalomi told the Times,
“helps us renew our relationship with the solar system and increase our awareness of the sun as a source of energy.”

Twenty-eight years later, Jews across the denominational spectrum are gearing up again for the observance with a range of planned celebrations, many of them environmentally focused. The sun prayer will be said, as it will several times in the 21st century, on April 8, which this year falls on the eve of Passover.

In the northern Israeli city of Safed, an eight-day festival is planned featuring several environmentally and kabbalistically inspired events, including the ceremonial burning of leavened bread on the morning before Passover by concentrating the sun’s rays through an optic lens.

“Over the last 28-year cycle, we have suffered from pollution and the depletion of natural resources,” said the festival founder, U.S.-based artist Eva Ariela Lindberg, in a news release.
“Let us use this extraordinary opportunity to co-create the next cycle by seeking alternative solar energies and a purer environment, recharging ourselves and learning how to honor the earth, our neighbors and ourselves. This is a time to renew, and bring fresh blossoms to our world for the next 28-year cycle.”

In the United States, 14 Jewish organizations have joined to launch BlessTheSun.org, a Web site with links to various educational materials and ideas for April 8 activities. The site asks users to sign a Covenant of Commitment in which they “pledge to hasten the day of environmental healing, social justice and sustainable living for all.”

Five of the groups also are sponsoring an art competition for works “interpreting aspects of the sun and exploring the relationship between Judaism and the environment.” And the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism has designed a 68-page study text on the prayer emphasizing environmental themes.

“Growing up, there was almost a fear in recognizing that our holidays and calendar are indicative of an earth-based religion,” said Nati Passow, co-founder of the Jewish Farm School, one of the groups behind BlessTheSun.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean idol worship or earth worship, but it means that the calendar and the cycles were a reflection of people who lived with a greater awareness of natural cycles than we have now. And so any time you can teach people about elements of our tradition that are earth-based, and especially the ones that are hidden and not as well known, it’s a way of bringing people into Judaism.”

The prayer, whose origins lie in the Talmud, blesses God “who makes the work of creation” and is the same blessing said over other rare natural phenomena, like lightning or a meteor.

Its Talmudic origins mean that the sun blessing is hardly the sole province of liberal Jewish environmental groups.

ArtScroll Publications, an Orthodox publishing house, has reissued an updated version of Rabbi J. David Bleich’s seminal 1981 book “Birchas Hachamah,” probably the most definitive English-language treatment of the subject. And Canfei Nesharim, an Orthodox environmental group, is working on a number of initiatives, including a sun-themed mishloach manot - - the food baskets traditionally given on the holiday of Purim, which falls about a month before the sun blessing.

Bleich’s book includes a rigorously detailed discussion of the evolution of the Jewish calendar and the complex calculations of lunar and solar cycles that determine the dates of Jewish observances.

“The blessing on this occasion, it would seem, is evocative rather than responsive,” wrote Bleich, a professor of Jewish law and ethics at Yeshiva University.
“It is designed to arouse man from his lethargy, to force him to reflect upon this cosmic phenomenon, to summon him to contemplation. Marking yet another solar milestone in the calendar of eternity, the occasion calls out to man: Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?”

Despite the complexity of the Talmudic discussion, the determination of April 8th is almost certainly inaccurate, Bleich told JTA. But the sages of the Talmud ordained the blessing not as a precise astronomical commemoration, Bleich said, but as a pedagogic device to impress upon future generations God’s continuing role in sustaining the universe.

Like I said, our God is simply amazing and I am in complete and total awe of Him as the hits keep coming daily. It's become a daily occurrence.

Asked about Jewish groups that want to infuse the blessing with an environmental message, Bleich said, “I wish them luck.”

Keep looking up! Maranatha!

RECOMMENDED READING:
Ceres of Events
The Electric Glow Of The Sun
Spiritual And Astrotheological Motifs Related To Light
Sun's Next 11-Year Cycle Could Be 50% Stronger
A Case For The Sun To Be Alive
Solar System Secrets As Told By The Sun
Ancient Solar Observatory Discovered In Peru
Red Ice Radio - Michael Tsarion - Lucifer & The Dark Side Of The Sun
Blessing The Sun, April 8, 2009

2 comments:

  1. gibby62 said...

    https://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,499304,00.html

    Comet's Heart May Have Struck Earth
    Wednesday, February 25, 2009


    Bright lights that suddenly streak across the night sky with an accompanying boom tend to elicit a flurry of phone calls to local police departments.

    These rare events aren't typically wayward missiles, or satellite debris (as was thought when one such streak recently lit up the skies over Texas), or alien invasions. But they do come from outer space.

    Scientists aptly call the objects fireballs because they are the brightest meteors, or "shooting stars," that fall to Earth.

    • Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Space Center.

    A fireball as bright as the full moon raced across the Spanish skies on July 11, 2008, and was tracked by the Spanish Fireball Network (SPMN).

    Researchers used the tracking data to trace the path of the comet backwards through the sky and space; they think the boulder may be a chunk of a comet that broke up nearly 90 years ago.

    Their conclusions are detailed in the Feb. 11 online issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    It's possible that chunks of the fireball made it to the ground and are waiting to be picked up, the researchers said, which would give scientists a rare glimpse into the heart of a comet.

    Meteors and fireballs

    Earth and the other planets of the solar system are under constant bombardment from particles that range in size from a sand grain to a boulder and are collectively known as meteoroids. Many meteoroids are the detritus left over from collisions of asteroids and comets and impacts to other planets.

    Related StoriesNatural Explanation Found for UFOs
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    If a meteoroid enters Earth's atmosphere, it starts to burn up, forming a bright streak in the sky, called a meteor. Meteors can come from asteroid or comet fragments. If that meteor is brighter than any of the planets in the sky, it is deemed a fireball (also called a bolide).

    A blazing bolide can also create a sonic boom that can be heard up to 30 miles away — these explosive noises were heard over Kentucky on Friday, Feb. 13, and over Texas on Sunday, Feb. 15, causing a number of startled citizens to call local law enforcement.

    Initial speculation that these streaks of light and accompanying boom were caused by debris from the Feb. 10 collision of two satellites was later refuted by astronomers , who said it was likely a meteor.

    Preston Starr, the observatory manager at the University of North Texas, told the Associated Press that the object would have been about the size of a truck and that somewhere between eight and 10 such objects burn up in the atmosphere every year.

    Spanish sighting

    The bolide that shot across the Spanish skies in July was also seen in Portugal and southern France.

    At maximum intensity, it was 150 times brighter than the full moon. It was first picked up by the SPMN above Bejar in the western part of Spain at a height of about 61 miles (98 kilometers) and disappeared from view at about 13 miles (21 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth.

    A professional photographer also snapped a picture of the streak from the north of Madrid.

    From these images, astronomers Josep Trigo-Rodríguez of the Institute of Space Studies, CSIC-IEEC in Spain, Jose Madiedo of the University of Huelva-CIECEM in Spain and Iwan Williams of the University of London were able to deduce the trajectory and properties of the incoming fireball.

    Their work was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the National Institute of Aerospatial Technique, and the Junta de Andalucía.

    The team thinks the bolide was a dense object, about 3 feet (about 1 meter) across with a mass of about 4,000 pounds (1.8 tonnes). This would be like squeezing an adult elephant down to the size of an armchair.

    The rock would have been big enough that chunks of it may have survived the fiery passage through the atmosphere and hit the ground as meteorites. Finding these pieces would be a boon to science if they are, as the team suspects, remnants of a comet breakup.

    The bolide traveled an unusual orbit around the sun, as determined by the astronomers, following a path that took it from beyond the orbit of Jupiter to the vicinity of Earth.

    This orbit is similar to that of a cloud of dust particles known as the Omicron Draconids, which on rare occasions produce a minor meteor shower on Earth.

    This collection of meteoroids is thought to originate from the breakup of Comet C/1919 Q2 Metcalf in 1920.

    It has been proposed that comets consist of large boulders glued together by a mixture of smaller particles and ice. If the nucleus of the comet disintegrates, the boulders are set loose in space. Finding chunks of the Bejar bolide could help confirm this theory.

    "Handling pieces of comet would fulfill the long-held ambitions of scientists — it would effectively give us a look inside some of the most enigmatic objects in the solar system," Trigo-Rodríguez said.

    Copyright © 2009 Imaginova Corp. All Rights Reserved.

  2. JRed said...

    gibby62,

    An excellent find! Thank you.

    In Christ,

    Jeff (JRed)