Friday, April 10, 2009

Birkat HaChamah

Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate day from night; they shall serve as signs for the set times—the days and the years; and they shall serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.
Birkat HaChamah, or the Blessing of the Sun, is a special ceremony of Judaism, carried out only once every 28 years, blessing G-d for the sun. It occurred this year on April 8th. The evening of that day was also the first night of Pesach (Passover).

You can read more about this special event on numerous web sites. I first read about it here (on There is more great information here ( and here (Wikipedia).

Kathy and I were privileged to observe the ceremony with the Colorado Springs Chabad (their web site is here) at the Visitor Center of the Garden of the gods.

In our wonderful Colorado wonderland, we have the opportunity to see the sun rising over the mountains (of course, in Denver, the mountains are to the west, so we never actually see the sun rising over the mountains from Denver!).

The Birkat HaChamah, blessing recited for the sun, is actually the same blessing said upon seeing other natural phenomena such as awe-inspiring mountains, deserts, lightning, earthquakes, hurricanes, astronomical phenomena and impressive bodies of water. I found this interesting as we attended the ceremony at the Garden of the gods in Colorado Springs. It seems to me that this park would inspire this blessing every time one were to visit. Check out the following pics from that marvelous location.

Cathedral Spires

Central Garden

Three Graces

Pikes Peak Framed

Sandstone Hogsback

Kissing Camels

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