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Archive for April 8th, 2009

Birkat Hachama

Sunset today (April 8 ) marks the very rare celebration of a particular ritual in Judaism known as the Birkat Hachama. This is also a good description. I have been a religion reporter for 15 years now and had not heard of this ceremony – in English, “The Blessing of the Sun” – or its accompanying prayer. No wonder – it is celebrated only once every 28 years – and this year it falls on the first night of Passover. You can read a good NY Times story about the celebration here.

How this concerns us, who are interested in prayer beads, is in the prayer itself:

“Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe who makes the works of creation.”

It struck me that this prayer is totally in keeping with what I wrote on Monday, about praising and thanking God for the gifts and blessings we see around us everyday – all of creation.

So add this prayer to your practice today. I know I will.

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