I'm not Jewish, but I am observant (in the big sense). I loved reading this in the New York Times online today, and plan to make the observance tomorrow part of my personal spiritual practice this year:
Those April 8’s, like the April 8 that arrives next week, marked the holiday of Birchat HaChammah, named for the blessing of the sun that is recited after daybreak by observant Jews.
According to the celestial calculations of a Talmudic sage named Shmuel, at the outset of spring every 28 years, the sun moves into the same place in the sky at the same time and on the same day of the week as it did when God made it. This charged moment provides the occasion for reciting a one-line blessing of God, “who makes the work of creation.”
The astronomical metrics of Shmuel are by now considered inexact, but close enough so that the religious tradition persists, so that Jews like Rabbi Bleich believe that the sun next Wednesday occupies the same location in the firmament as it did when it was formed on the fourth day of Creation, which would have been Wednesday, March 26, of the Hebrew year 1, otherwise known as 3760 B.C.
Since I'm 60, who knows if I'll manage to be around for the next 28th year celebration? I don't know the actual blessing, (and my Hebrew literacy is non-existent) so maybe I will have to write my own. I hope any observers who read this will take my adoption as a reverent and respectful act, even if I don't have the words. Hey, thanks to Wikipedia, I found them, and translated, too
"ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם עושה מעשה בראשית"
"Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe who makes the works of Creation."
About that blessing, the article goes on:
The same brief prayer — consisting of the basic syntactical root for most blessings and three culminating, specific Hebrew words — is also used to express awe and wonder at physical grandeur (the Grand Canyon) and creative acts visible as they happen (lightning, meteor showers).
That makes it even better doesn't it! What a wonderful idea to honor the creative acts we see and notice.
And doesn't the idea remind you of the "good morning world" line from Kurt Vonnegut (gotta find that now!)