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Birkas Ha-Chamah

Birkas Ha-Chamah

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Published by hirhurim
An overview of the once-in-twenty-eight-year blessing recited over the renewal of the sun's cycle.
An overview of the once-in-twenty-eight-year blessing recited over the renewal of the sun's cycle.

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Published by: hirhurim on Mar 26, 2009
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05/10/2014

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edited by
Gil Student
Ezzie Goldish
A Bloggers\u2019 Guide
to
Birkas Ha-Chamah
A Bloggers\u2019 Guide to Birkas Ha-Chamah
\u00a9 2009. Copyright reserved by authors. This may be transmitted and duplicated electronically provided no content or format is altered.
2
Table of Contents
Rebbetzin\u2019s Husband. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Birkat haChamah/Blessing the Sun 2009, Erev Pesach, and Bad Astronomy, Part I . 3
Birkat haChamah/Blessing the Sun 2009, Erev Pesach, Part II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Birkat haChamah / Blessing the Sun 2009 Erev Pesach, Part III. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Hirhurim\u2013 Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
The Misunderstood Blessing On The Sun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Birkas Ha-Chamah Books. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Yehuda Goldreich...................................................................................................... 17
HaChama Betkufata: An Overview of Birkat HaChama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Ben Chorin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Shoot me for saying this. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
A Simple Jew. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Question & Answer With Rafi G. - Birchas HaChama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

The Hirhurim\u2013 Musings blog is being published as a series of books! Enjoy having
in book form the award-winning blog you read so often\u2013 revised, edited, updated
and available on your bookshelf for Shabbos and for years to come. Pre-order the
first volume now to assure yourself a 20% discount:

http://www.yasharbooks.com/Posts.html

The Jewish Economic Survey, analyzing the economic state of the Orthodox Jewish
community, is available online atS er andE z\u2013 just follow the link at the top of the
blog or use the following link:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=p-2WPRCDbkfzWDcHNWxlhdQ
There will be a presentation on the survey in Washington Heights in the near future.
A Bloggers\u2019 Guide to Birkas Ha-Chamah
\u00a9 2009. Copyright reserved by authors. This may be transmitted and duplicated electronically provided no content or format is altered.
3Rebbetzin\u2019s Husband
Birkat haChamah/Blessing the Sun 2009, Erev Pesach, and Bad
Astronomy, Part I*
If you thought last year\u2019s (2008) Erev Pesach was unusual, you ain\u2019t seenn oth in \u2019yet .
Next year we have, of all things, Birkas haChamah on Erev Pesach - Wednesday April
8, 2009.
Yes, you heard me right - we will be reciting a once-in-28-years blessing, and it will fall
out on Erev Pesach, of all days. In the morning, specifically. Right after the siyyum for
the firstborn. While we\u2019re trying to get rid of all of our chametz, and prepare Pesach
food. And the Seder. And a 3-day Yom Tov.
I have to think that we\u2019re going to organize a communal celebration for Birkas haChamah
- how could younot do that, for something that comes up less than 4 times per century?
So it\u2019s going to be a huge, massively fun, mess.
And, of course, it likely will rain (or snow?) just to wreck Birkas haChamah, put out the
Chametz fire, and make life in general more chaotic.
And do you want to hear the funniest part? Birkas haChamah, according to some very big
halachic names of the past few centuries, is observed on the wrong day.
Don\u2019t hang me for a heretic; let\u2019s look at the sources:
Talmud Bavli, Berachos 59b:
The sages taught: One who sees the Sun
, the Moon in its strength and the stars in
their paths and the constellations in their order says \u201cBlessed is the Creator of Bereishit.\u201d
Which is followed by Abayye\u2019s explanation:

When is this? Abbaye said: Every twenty-eight years, when the machzor returns and the
tekufah of Nisan occurs in Saturn, on the night after the third day, the beginning of the
fourth.

In other words: The sun, as seen from Earth, is said to pass through various Houses in the
heavens. When we see the Sun return to the beginning of the House in which it was
created - a point in space we calculate based on our calendar calculations - then we recite

this berachah.
Note: The Yerushalmi (Berachos 9:2) cites the view of R\u2019 Chuna who disagrees in
explaining what this blessing is all about: Rabbi Chuna said: This is only in the rainy
* Thursday, April 24, 2008, http://rechovot.blogspot.com/2008/04/birkat-hachamahblessing-sun-
2009-erev.html

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