Sun Blessing: Only Every 28 Years

Jews worldwide awake to rare blessing, honoring nature

On the eve of Passover, standing on a bridge in Munster's Centennial Park facing east toward the sun, a group of more than 30 people recited and sang the "Birkat HaChamah" or the Blessing of the Sun in Hebrew.

A similar scene took place among Jewish communities around the world.

The blessing, which is said by Jews around the world only every 28 years, celebrates and gives thanks for God's formation of the sun, moon, the stars and the planets on the fourth day of creation, Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov of Chabad of Northwest Indiana in Munster told the Northwest Indiana Times.

"We do not bless the sun. We bless God and acknowledge nature and the natural occurrences," the rabbi said. "This is not something we take for granted."

It's a tradition that spans millennia and circles the globe, yet occurs only every 28 years. The 28-year gap between the blessings occurs because a solar year is 365-1/4 days long, Rabbi Zalmanov said.

It's a Jewish tradition in accordance with the Jewish belief that God created the universe 5,769 years ago and this blessing ceremony celebrates the sun's return to its original position on the day of creation.

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