This was yesterday's news, Thought that I would share it anyway.....
Jews perform sun ritual for first time in 28 years
By MARK LAVIE Associated Press Writer
AP Photo/SEBASTIAN SCHEINER
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Devout Jews around the world on Wednesday observed a ritual performed only once every 28 years, saying their morning prayers under the open sky in a ceremony called the "blessing of the sun."
Tens of thousands of worshippers stood next to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's walled Old City, the holiest site where Jews can pray. Hundreds headed to the ancient desert fortress of Masada, while others prayed on the roof of a Tel Aviv high-rise and congregated on road sides.
"God created the world in seven days," said Yona Vogel, one of the estimated 50,000 who attended the Western Wall prayers. "On the fourth day he put the sun into orbit and every 28 years it returns to the original place that it stood when God created the world."
The special blessing - called the Birkat Hachamah in Hebrew - was marked in many time zones, starting with members of the small Jewish community in New Zealand. In hundreds of places, from Israel and Italy to New Zealand and Kyrgyzstan, observant Jews rose before dawn for outdoor prayers and dancing.
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 Orthodox Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch movement scheduled live Webcasts from seven locations as the sun moved across the Earth, starting at 8 a.m. local time in Christchurch, New Zealand, followed by events in Brisbane, Australia; Jerusalem; London; New York; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Honolulu.
Devout Jews emphasize that they are not worshipping the sun, but rather paying homage to God.
"We make a special blessing on this day to remember the day that God created the world and put the sun into orbit. It's as though he is creating the world anew," Vogel said.
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.
*Something else that is not mentioned here and I thought was noteworthy is that this sun celebration only overlaps Passover once every 1000 years... I am sure if you google this topic you will find lots of interesting things to read about. You can go to www.ap.org and search the site for more info
*also of interest as I was reading this I found another article, This other article was talking about how an Israeli archaeologist has unearthed the foundation of the very first settlements of the Hebrews as they came into Caanan. What is really cool about this is the settlements are in the shape of foot prints..... Wow no coincidence there! I believe that they have found five such settlements in the same shape. The URL is http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1076836.html
2 weeks ago