It is a special Jewish prayer recited once every twenty-eight years. According to the Babylonian Talmud (tractate Berachot 59b), it is said when the Earth returns to the same position relative to Sun that it had when the universe was first created. The prayer is traditionally recited outdoors at sunrise.
Table of contents
Order of the service
No set service existed until the Shulkhan Arukh; since then various similar religious services have been offered by Rabbi Moses Sofer, the Mishnah Berurah, and (for Conservative Jews) Lasker and Lasker. The service generally includes:
- Quotations about the sun from the Tanakh
- Four verses from the Tanakh which spell out the Tetragrammaton
- Some of Talmud Berakhot 59b
- Parts of Psalms 148 and 90
- The Blessing of the Sun (Barukh Atah...maaseh vereishit)
- Psalms 121, 8 and 19
- The hymm El Adon al kol hama'asim (normally part of the Shabbat services).
- The mourner's kaddish
Occurrences in the last 120 years:
- Wednesday, April 7, 1897
- Wednesday, April 8, 1925
- Wednesday, April 8, 1953
- Wednesday, April 8, 1981
- Wednesday, April 8, 2009
- Rabbi J. David Bleich. Bircas Hachammah, Blessing of the Sun: Renewal of the Creation: a Halachic Analysis and Anthology. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications ltd, 1981. ISBN 0899061761.
- Lasker, AA and Lasker DJ. Birkat Hahammah: The Blessing of the Sun. Conservative Judaism 1981;34:17–28.