Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Birchat HaChama in Brooklyn Heights

Today is a peculiar day in the Jewish calendar. It is the day that we recite Birchat Hachama. We commemorate the biblical creation of the Sun by saying some blessings, and singing and dancing in the streets. It is a rare holiday, occurring only once every 28 years on the morning before Passover.

I vividly remember doing this 28 years ago on Ocean Parkway around avenue O with the "Tenker" rebbe (the father, not the son) and his shul, the one we prayed in back then. I remember a big assembly on the roof of Torah Temimah, the Brooklyn school I attended at the time. The assembly was led by the late Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum. School was fairly anticlimactic after the singing and dancing on Ocean Parkway with the synagogue.

Brooklyn's weather was nicer last time, but this time was nice too. Our synagogue celebrated near the windy steps of Boro Hall with our esteemed Boro President Marty Markowitz making a nice short speech and reciting the blessing.

Truth be told, the whole thing does sound very much like some Pagan Sun-worshiping ritual. We do the same for the moon once a month too. But it is still nice, and the rarity of the holiday makes it all the more special. I look forward to doing it again in 2037.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I should have asked you to be yotzai me. I missed it this morning.