Friday, March 27, 2009

Here Comes the Sun!

Yom shishi, 2 Nisan 5769.

 
A current hit song in Israel cheerfully blasts the fact that "eize kef l'hiyot Yehudi!" -- "it is fun/cool to be a Jew."  One of the coolest things about being a Jew is that we bless practically everything.  Nothing is taken for granted:  we make a blessing on being permitted to awaken to another day; we make a blessing when our bodies function properly; we even bless the time period between sleeping and waking.  There is no moment in the life of a Jew that doesn't matter.  No such thing as "killing time," chas v'shalom!
Once every 28 years, we are privileged to bless the sun.
Why only once ever 28 years?  Because, according to our tradition, the sun returns to its exact point in time and space that it was at the time of Creation every 28 years.  (There are, as always, discussions on the details of the timing:  the division isn't exact, so how do the Sages deal with the discrepancy?  Easy to learn about; additonal fun -- and I leave it to you.)
While there will undoubtedly be newsworthy celebrations of Birkat HaChama all over the Jewish world, as there have been in the past  -- check out the 1897 observance in Times Square, for example -- there is something very special about being permitted to celebrate here in Israel.

For local readers, take advantage of the many opportunities to learn about Birkat HaChama.  In Neve Daniel, a class will be given over by Rabbi Zvi Ron on yom rishon, 5 Nisan (March 29) at 20:30 (8:30 PM) at R' Alonei Mamrei 411/4.  Men and women are welcome.

And for those who own a tee shirt from every major life event in the last several decades (you know who you are:  Woodstock --  "If you remember the sixties, you didn't live through them"; The Eagles' Reunion 1993 -- "We didn't break up; we just took a 14-year hiatus"), there is even a vintage Birkat HaChama tee shirt!  In Israel, contact David and Devorah Katz at 02 993 3936.  Free delivery for residents of Gush Etzion.  Get 'em while they're hot!
Here Comes the Sun, lyrics by G. Harrison 
Here comes the sun (du dn du du)
Here comes the sun
And I say
Its alright
Little darling
Its been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say
Its alright
Little darling
The smiles returning to the faces
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun (du dn du du)
Here comes the sun
And I say
Its alright
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes (four times)
Little darling
I see the ice is slowly melting
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun (du dn du du)
Here comes the sun
Its alright
Here comes the sun (du du du du)
Here comes the sun
Its alright
Its alright
Looking forward to celebrating with all of the Jews of the world.  Birkat HaChama, 14 Nisan 5769 (April 8, 2009).  See you there!  And may we all be here to see the sun rise on the long-standing Third Temple at the next Birkat HaChama celebration!
Hat tips to Chaya Gottesman, Yossi Baumol, Jameel, and Haim Makovsky 
 
Glossary:
Birkat HaChama:  blessing on the sun
Chas v'shalom:  "Heaven forbid"


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