And God said: ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
8-April-2009, Jerusalem – Thousands gathered at the Wailing Wall before dawn awaiting sunrise to recite: “Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe who makes the works of Creation.”
The Blessing of the Sun, Birkat Hachamah in Hebrew, is recited in Judaism once in twenty-eight years, signifying the sun’s location at exactly that of the moment of its creation on a Wednesday morning, the fourth day of creation. The 28-year cycle was calculated in the Babylonian Talmud and it was renewed today. Adding to the excitement is the fact that today is the Eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover celebrating the exodus of the ancient Hebrews, led by Moses, from bondage in Egypt – a sun cycle began on the exact morning of exodus from Egypt somewhere between the years 1200-1500 BCE (exact date is disputed).
Much anticipation was evident among the worshippers, men, women and children assembled hours before the big moment. Then, just as the sun became visible to the east, climbing over the Wailing Wall which is the last remaining remnant of the Holy Temple, it triggered great excitement, prayer, dance and song among the crowd.