The Sunshine of Your Love…


Celebrated a sublime Birkat Hachamah this morning at JRC. Began with meditation as the sun rose through the east window-wall of our sanctuary, then followed with yoga sun salutations – both led with profound depth of spirit by congregational member Carole Caplan. After this powerful prelude we participated in the Birkat Hachamah service itself (above).

As part of the liturgy, I added this verse from last Shabbat’s Haftarah:

For you who revere my name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. (Malachi 3:20)

We then listened to this commentary from the great Rabbi Milton Steinberg, z”l:

After a long illness I was permitted for the first time to step outdoors. And as I crossed the threshold, sunlight greeted me. So long as I live I shall never forget that moment. The sky overhead was very blue, very clear, and very, very high. A faint wind blew off from the western plains, cool and yet somehow tinged with warmth – like a dry chilled wine. And everywhere in the firmament above me, in the great vault between earth and sky, on the pavements, the buildings – the golden glow of sunlight. It touched me, too, with friendship, with warmth, with blessing. And as I basked in its glory there ran through my mind those wonderful words of the prophet Malachi: “For you who revere My name a sun of righteousness will rise with healing on its wings.”

And I remembered how often I had been indifferent to the sunlight, how often, preoccupied with petty and sometimes mean concerns, I had disregarded it. And I said to myself, How precious is the sunlight, but alas, how careless of it we are.

How precious indeed, especially upon a day such as this; a day in which, as Jewish tradition would have it, the sun returns on its twenty-eight year cycle to the place it originally occupied at the time of it creation.

This Pesach may we all bask in the sunlight of God’s liberation…

PS: It was a briliant and clear morning in the Chicago area (see pic below)!


2 thoughts on “The Sunshine of Your Love…

  1. Edie Canter

    It seemed like the very moment for which the east window was designed. While trying to hold some odd pose or another, this non-Yoga-ite followed the instruction to focus on a particular spot and found a perfect small rectangle of window on the east wall. A tree branch crossed the window at a diagonal, reaching up to the sky. Smaller wispier branches reached out in multiple directions. The sky was blue. The sun was a low hot ball in the sky. I think I’ll adopt that little rectangle window as my own.

  2. Larry Rosen

    Greetings from the west coast.
    Our Temple celebrated Birkat Hachamah on Inspiration Point in the Santa Monica mountains to great the sunrise.
    Wonderful experience.


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