Thank G‑d for the Sun!
One who sees the sun at its turning point should say, “Blessed is He who reenacts the works of Creation.”—Talmud, Berachos 59b.
Every 28 years the sun returns to the exact position, at the same time of the week, that it occupied at the time of its creation—at the beginning of the fourth day of creation. A special blessing – called Birkas HaChamah, “the sun blessing” – is recited by Jewish people to mark this event.
This year we performed this special commandment on the morning of April 8 (the morning before Passover).
The existence of nearly all life on Earth is fueled by light from the sun. Every morning without fail, the sun rises in the east and bathes us with its sustaining rays, causing flora to grow and, through the process of photosynthesis, providing oxygen for all fauna.
The blessing should be recited outdoors, amidst a grand gathering of men, women and children. Some may call this phenomenon nature.
We gathered on April 8th and declared otherwise:
“Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who reenacts the works of creation.”
Ideally, the blessing should be recited outdoors after the morning prayers, amidst a grand gathering of men, women and children—as befits the excitement accompanying the fulfillment of such a rare opportunity. It's a memory for a lifetime!
The blessing is traditionally preceded and followed by a short selection of Psalms and prayers. Before reciting the actual blessing on the sun, we stand at attention with feet together and look at the sunmomentarily, but not while saying the blessing, so that it should not appear that we are worshipping the sun, but rather its Maker.
Bless the Sun!