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ZionTimes Special Features Special Features - Birkat Hachamah - April 8, 2009 - in pictures ZionTimes Special Features
 
Birkat Hachamah - Special Feature

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man wrapped in a prayer shawl participates in the special
An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man wrapped in a prayer shawl participates in the special "Blessing of the Sun" at historic site of Masada overlooking the Dead
Sea in Israel. Devout Jews around the world on Wednesday observed a ritual performed only once every 28 years, saying their morning prayers under the open sky.

 
The prayer came on the eve of the weeklong Passover festival, in which Jews commemorate the exodus from slavery in Egypt. The timing was coincidental, but added to the joyous feeling felt by many worshippers.
The prayer came on the eve of the weeklong Passover festival, in which Jews commemorate the exodus from slavery in Egypt. The timing was coincidental, but added to the joyous feeling felt by many worshippers.
 
The sun blessing is called the Birkat Hachamah in Hebrew.
The sun blessing is called the Birkat Hachamah in Hebrew.
 
The ritual is performed only once every 28 years as the sun returns to its starting point at the moment the universe was created, according to Jewish tradition and the biblical account of creation. The Book of Genesis states that God created the world in seven days, and on the fourth day he put the sun into orbit.
The ritual is performed only once every 28 years as the sun returns to its starting point at the moment the universe was created, according to Jewish tradition and the biblical account of creation. The Book of Genesis states that God created the world in seven days, and on the fourth day he put the sun into orbit.
 
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men participate in the special 'Blessing of the Sun' prayer at the Western Wall, with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the background.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men participate in the special 'Blessing of the Sun' prayer at the Western Wall, with the Dome of the Rock mosque in the background.
 
Israeli media report some 50,000 people took part in the prayer at the Western Wall and lined the rooftops of the building in the Jewish Quarter.
Israeli media report some 50,000 people took part in the prayer at the Western Wall and lined the rooftops of the building in the Jewish Quarter.
 
Devout Jews emphasize that they are not worshipping the sun, but rather paying homage to God. Modern science may have overtaken the astronomy of the scriptures, but scholars say the blessing still has symbolic value as acknowledgment of the divine role in the universe.
Devout Jews emphasize that they are not worshipping the sun, but rather
paying homage to God. Modern science may have overtaken the astronomy
of the scriptures, but scholars say the blessing still has symbolic value as acknowledgment of the divine role in the universe.

 
Thousands of Jews gather at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, during a prayer to bless the sun, in Jerusalem.
Thousands of Jews gather at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, during a prayer to bless the sun, in Jerusalem.
 
Devout Jews around the world on Wednesday observed a ritual performed only once every 28 years, saying their morning prayers under the open sky.
Devout Jews around the world on Wednesday observed a ritual performed only once every 28 years, saying their morning prayers under the open sky.
 
Orthodox Hassidic Jews participate in the
Orthodox Hassidic Jews participate in the "Blessing of the Sun" in Jerusalem.
 
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls participate in the
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls participate in the "Blessing of the Sun" prayer in Jerusalem.
 
A Jewish worshipper takes part in the special prayer on a rooftop overlooking the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
A Jewish worshipper takes part in the special prayer on a rooftop overlooking the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
 


 


 
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