Culture, Religion

Here comes the sun!

One year ago, BZ alerted us that Birkas Hachamah would be coming up in one solar year. Today was that day.
If your morning was at all like mine, it started with an astronomy lesson, around 5:30am, while standing outside in a huddle of shivering Jews. Through telescopes, we looked at the planets, all of which were visible this morning (except for Saturn, which had already set). We davened shacharis inside as the sun rose above the horizon and warmed up the beis midrash. Then we had a siyyum l’bechorim and bechoros so that those of us who are first borns wouldn’t have to fast today. Fittingly, the siyyum was on Masechet Hachamah, which meant we had more astronomy lessons, as well as some math, physics, history, and theology. Back outside for Birkas HaChamah, praising G!d for having created the sun (and everything else), and for burning chometz.
… All this before 8am. A full morning indeed!
I’ve been impressed by the number of tweets and Facebook updates related to Birkas Hachamah. People gathered on college campuses and beaches, in parks and stadiums. Did you do anything? Where? What would you suggest doing similarly, or changing, for Wednesday, April 8, 2037?

3 thoughts on “Here comes the sun!

  1. What would you suggest doing similarly, or changing, for Wednesday, April 8, 2037?
    Lots of chametz. (The last day of Pesach in 2037 is April 6 or 7, depending on how many days you do, so birkat ha-chamah in that year won’t have an undertone of pre-Pesach madness; it will have an undertone of post-Pesach madness.)
    At the Hazon event in NYC, we were discussing whether 2009 would be the only birkat ha-chamah with yoga. It seems likely to be the first; will it also be the last?

  2. 7:30am, Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Around 200-300 people gathered from the four or five Chabad shuls in the greater Milwaukee area in the hall of the Jewish Home and Care center (with a large veranda overlooking Lake Michigan). I expected maybe 50 people; it was absolutely packed. Dancing and breakfast followed.
    Milwaukee is abuzz with Birkas Hachamah events. In addition to the Chabad event, I received emails from 5 separate local organizations – the Jewish Community Center (which almost never does ANYTHING “religious” like this), Hillel (also a shocker, it’s small and very secular-minded here), orthodox, conservative and reform temples. I’m really surprised at how many Jews have come out of the woodwork for this.
    It is fitting that the Jewish community has joined in unity to mark Birkas Hachamah on the eve of Pesach, and our imminent redemption from Mitzrayim.
    Chag Sameach Pesach!

  3. Hundreds of Jews (I’m guessing about 500) from all walks of life, and all branches of Judaism, turned out in a public park in Teaneck for an event put on by the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County. You should have heard the boo’s when they tried to get people to separate into three sections: men, women, and “families in the back”. Mostly everyone (in the mostly Orthodox crowd) just stayed together with their family and friends. The sun wasn’t out, but we sang a few nigguns until it finally peeked out of the clouds. It was a beautiful experience, especially because it’s rare for so many Jews (and so many types of Jews) to come together in one place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.