Solar Eclipse 2024

Resources on the Solar Eclipse

Resource One | Download PDF

Solar Eclipse 2024
Source Sheet by Rabbi Earl Kideckel

Genesis 1:16

God made the two great lights, the greater light to dominate the day and the lesser light to dominate the night, and the stars.

Ibn Ezra on Genesis 1:16:2

[TO RULE THE DAY.] The sun rules during the day and not at night because it is not seen. Conversely, the light of the moon and stars are not seen during the day. One may ask, do not the astronomers teach that Jupiter and all the stars, with the exception of Mercury and Venus, are larger than the moon? Why, then, is it written the great lights? The answer is that the term great does not refer to size but to light, and the light of the moon is many times greater than their light because of its proximity to the earth. Thus we see that Scripture describes them as lights.

Chullin 60b:2

§ Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi raises a contradiction between two verses. It is written: “And God made the two great lights” (Genesis 1:16), and it is also written in the same verse: “The greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night,” indicating that only one was great. Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi explains: When God first created the sun and the moon, they were equally bright. Then, the moon said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, is it possible for two kings to serve with one crown? One of us must be subservient to the other. God therefore said to her, i.e., the moon: If so, go and diminish yourself.

Chullin 60b:3

She said before Him: Master of the Universe, since I said a correct observation before You, must I diminish myself? God said to her: As compensation, go and rule both during the day along with the sun and during the night. She said to Him: What is the greatness of shining alongside the sun? What use is a candle in the middle of the day? God said to her: Go; let the Jewish people count the days and years with you, and this will be your greatness. She said to Him: But the Jewish people will count with the sun as well, as it is impossible that they will not count seasons with it, as it is written: “And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14). God said to her: Go; let righteous men be named after you. Just as you are called the lesser [hakatan] light, there will be Ya’akov HaKatan, i.e., Jacob our forefather (see Amos 7:2), Shmuel HaKatan the tanna, and David HaKatan, i.e., King David (see I Samuel 17:14).

Chullin 60b:4

God saw that the moon was not comforted. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: Bring atonement for me, since I diminished the moon. The Gemara notes: And this is what Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish says: What is different about the goat offering of the New Moon, that it is stated with regard to it: “For the Lord” (Numbers 28:15)? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: This goat shall be an atonement for Me for having diminished the size of the moon.

Mishneh Torah, Blessings 10:18

A person who sees the sun on the day of the spring equinox at the beginning of the twenty-eight year cycle that begins on Wednesday night [must recite a blessing]. When he sees the sun on Wednesday morning, he should recite the blessing “who performs the work of creation.”Similarly, the blessing בָּרוּךְ עוֹשֶׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית”who performs the work of creation” should be recited when the moon reaches the beginning of the zodiac constellation taleh at the beginning of the month when it is not pointing to the north or the south, when any of the other five stars [that revolve in separate spheres] arrive at the beginning of the constellation taleh and do not point to the north or the south, and when one sees the constellation taleh ascend to the eastern corner [of the sky].

Sukkah 29a:8

Apropos the fact that rain on Sukkot is an indication of divine rebuke, the Gemara cites several related topics. The Sages taught: When the sun is eclipsed it is a bad omen for the entire world. The Gemara tells a parable. To what is this matter comparable? It is comparable to a king of flesh and blood who prepared a feast for his servants and placed a lantern [panas] before them to illuminate the hall. He became angry at them and said to his servant: Take the lantern from before them and seat them in darkness.

Sukkah 29a:13

The Sages taught that on account of four matters the sun is eclipsed: On account of a president of the court who dies and is not eulogized appropriately, and the eclipse is a type of eulogy by Heaven; on account of a betrothed young woman who screamed in the city that she was being raped and there was no one to rescue her; on account of homosexuality; and on account of two brothers whose blood was spilled as one.

Sukkah 29a:9

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir says: When the heavenly lights, i.e., the sun and the moon, are eclipsed, it is a bad omen for the enemies of the Jewish people, which is a euphemism for the Jewish people, because they are experienced in their beatings. Based on past experience, they assume that any calamity that afflicts the world is directed at them. The Gemara suggests a parable: This is similar to a teacher who comes to the school with a strap in his hand. Who worries? The child who is accustomed to be beaten each and every day is the one who worries.

Sukkah 29a:11

If, during an eclipse, the visage of the sun is red like blood, it is an omen that sword, i.e., war, is coming to the world. If the sun is black like sackcloth made of dark goat hair, it is an omen that arrows of hunger are coming to the world, because hunger darkens people’s faces. When it is similar both to this, to blood, and to that, to sackcloth, it is a sign that both sword and arrows of hunger are coming to the world. If it was eclipsed upon its entry, soon after rising, it is an omen that calamity is tarrying to come. If the sun is eclipsed upon its departure at the end of the day, it is an omen that calamity is hastening to come. And some say the matters are reversed: An eclipse in the early morning is an omen that calamity is hastening, while an eclipse in the late afternoon is an omen that calamity is tarrying.

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 227:1

Upon a comet, which is like a type of star that is seen like an arrow across the sky from place to place, whose light stretches like a staff, and upon shaking of the earth, and upon lightning, and upon thunder, and upon winds that blow angrily: on each of these one says, בא”י אמ”ה עושה מעשה בראשית “Blessed are you, God our Lord, king of the world, creator of the original (first) creations.” And if you’d like, say, בא”י אמ”ה שכחו וגבורתו מלא עולם:”Blessed are you, God our Lord, king of the world, whose strength and might fill the world.”

Resource Two | Download PDF

Selected B’rakhot of Gratitude, Appreciation, and Wonder
(For more examples, see Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays, pages 222-227)

The insights of wonder must be constantly kept alive. Since there is a need for daily wonder, there is a need for daily worship…  This is one of the goals of the Jewish way of living: to experience commonplace deeds as spiritual adventures, to feel the hidden love and wisdom in all things.  

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, God in Search of Man, 1955, p.49.

Also quoted in Siddur Sim Shalom for Weekdays, page 222.

Brakhah upon seeing a rainbow — occasional wonder
Praised are You Adonai, our God who rules the universe, who is faithful to Your covenant and who keeps Your word

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית, וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ, וְקַיָּם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ

Brakhah upon seeing trees in bloom for the first time each year — annual wonder

To be said when one can see 2 flowering trees at the same time

Praised are You Adonai, our God who rules the universe, for creating Your world so that it is missing nothing, and for creating fine creatures and pleasant trees for people to enjoy. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁלֹּא  חִסַּר בְּעוֹלָמוֹ דָּבָר, וּבָרָא בּוֹ בְּרִיּוֹת טוֹבוֹת וְאִילָנוֹת טוֹבִים לְהַנּוֹת בָּהֶם בְּנֵי אָדָם

Brakhah for an eclipse — rare opportunity for wonder

To be said as soon as the eclipse feels awesome or amazing

Praised are You Adonai, our God who rules the universe, whose power and might fill the world. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁכֹּחוֹ וּגְבוּרָתוֹ מָלֵא עוֹלָם
Shehehiyanu — for new experiences, holidays, very special events
Praised are you Adonai our God, who rules the universe, for granting us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this day. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Bathroom Blessing

To be said upon leaving the bathroom

Praised are you Adonai our God, who rules the universe, who created the human body with wisdom and fashioned it with holes and other holes, pipes and more pipes.  It is known before Your Majestic Throne that if even one of them should fail to function by being closed when it should be open or by being open when it should be closed, it would be impossible to function and to stand before You for even one hour. Praised are You, Adonai, who heals all flesh and does wonders. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת־הָאָדָם בְּחָכְמָה וּבָֽרָא בוֹ נְקָבִים נְקָבִים חֲלוּלִים חֲלוּלִים גָּלוּי וְיָדֽוּעַ לִפְנֵי כִסֵּא כְבוֹדֶֽךָ שֶׁאִם יִפָּתֵֽחַ אֶחָד מֵהֶם אוֹ יִסָּתֵם אֶחָד מֵהֶם אִי אֶפְשַׁר לְהִתְקַיֵּם וְלַעֲמֹד לְפָנֶֽיךָ אֲפִילוּ שָׁעָה אֶחָת. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה רוֹפֵא כָל־בָּשָׂר וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשׂוֹת:

Resource Three | Download PDF

The Blessing to Be Said Upon Witnessing a Solar or Lunar Eclipse

Rabbi Joshua Heller  – OH 227

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly provides guidance in matters of halkhhah for the Conservative movement. The individual rabbi, however, is the authority for the interpretation and application of all matters of halakhah. This Teshuvah is a position of the chair, issued in response to a time-sensitive question asked of the committee, and has not been reviewed/approved by full committee.

Question: The solar eclipse of August, 2017, has provoked great interest, and many are travelling hundreds of miles to witness it. Lunar eclipses are more commonly experienced phenomena that also attract attention. Is there a statutory prayer (a brakhah) to be said upon witnessing a solar or lunar eclipse? 1

Answer: Our tradition suggests that we see each life experience as an opportunity to connect to the Divine. While many texts can be invoked, the classic, most intensive liturgical response is through the form of a brakha– a blessing, invoking God’s name using the classic “Barukh Ata” phraseology. Such blessings are mandated, of course, for consumption of food and for the performance of many mitzvot. The ninth chapter of tractate Berakhot, in the Mishnah and Talmud, enumerates the text of many blessings to be said specifically upon encountering remarkable natural or human phenomena. Examples include thunder and lightning, trees in new bloom, rainbows, extremely large crowds, or creatures of unusual appearance.

A solar eclipse, when our view of the sun is blocked by the moon, is certainly a unique natural event which causes us to ponder our place in the universe. There are typically at least two solar eclipses a year, but they are short in duration and only visible along a fairly narrow track, so that most parts of the world may experience total solar eclipse only once every several centuries, and some travel long distances to experience them. In contrast, lunar eclipses, when the moon passes through the earth’s shadow, are not much more frequent, but are visible to an entire half of the globe, so that most parts of the world experience a total lunar eclipse every 2-3 years. 2 In any case, either type of eclipse is a striking phenomenon. One could certainly respond with any number of texts from our tradition which speak of inspiration derived from celestial bodies (for example, Psalm 121 or 148, “El Adon” from the Shabbat Morning Shacharit). However, the question has been asked: Is there an appropriate Brakhah formula to be recited?

The answer to this question may be of narrow interest on its own, applying only to a fairly rare event, but also provides an opportunity to understand the philosophical and practical process by which our liturgy has developed.

No Blessing at All?

Some suggest that no blessing at all should be said over an eclipse. noting that the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Sukkah 29b, says that an eclipse is a sign of divine displeasure.

“Our Rabbis taught: When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for the whole world. To what can this be compared? To a flesh and blood king who made a banquet for his servants and put a lamp in front of them. When he got angry with them he said to his servant, “Take the lamp away from them, and let them sit in the dark.” The text goes on to suggest that since Jews number their months by the moon, a lunar eclipse is a bad sign for Jews, while a solar eclipse is a particularly negative sign for non-Jews who follow a solar calendar, and to list specific societal ills for which the eclipse is a warning. These poskim conclude that, since the eclipse is a cursed event, no blessing should be said.

Today, we understand that eclipses are natural, predictable phenomena. They are part of the structure and order of creation, a predictable reflection of the Divine will that was manifested at the time of creation, rather than a specific, timely response to societal trends.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson 3 acknowledged that eclipses were known even in ancient times to be a natural phenomenon, but felt that they are still a sign of bad events to come, and therefore should be cause for despair rather than blessing. However, even if one gives credence to the view that an eclipse indicates that there is “a bad moon on the rise,” there is still powerful cause to recite a blessing. The Mishnah 4 also teaches us ” חייב†אדם†לברך†על†הרעה†כשם†שמברך†על

הטובה†” – “One must recite a blessing over the bad just as one does over the good.” Even if one sees the eclipse as a negative omen, it should still be recognized with a blessing.

Choosing the Right Blessing

The traditional sources (Talmud, Shulkhan Arukh, etc) do not suggest a specific formulation. Our tradition offers several general pieces of of advice for those who are unsure whether a brakha is called for. The first is that one is not supposed to compose new blessings not specified by the Talmud. Some (like Rabbi Haim David Halevi 5), raised the concern that since the sages were aware of a the phenomenon of eclipses and did not specify a blessing, one cannot be instituted However, in practice, many of the blessings specified in Berakhot are applied to situations more broadly than those indicated.

A second criterion is “safek berakhot l’hehakel”- if one is unsure whether a blessing is required at all, then God’s name should not be invoked, lest it be invoked in vain.

Finally, in general, one should choose the most specific blessing that applies to the circumstance at hand, but if it is unclear which blessing is most appropriate, we do not institute a new blessing, but we choose a more general blessing which is more broadly applicable. So, for example, if we encounter a form of produce which is clearly a fruit, one says the blessing “borei pri haetz” over produce of the tree. If it is unclear whether the food item comes from a tree or from a ground plant, we say “borei pri ha’adamah” (over the produce of the ground), since both fruits and vegetables ultimately come from the ground.

In this case, an solar or lunar eclipse is certainly an unusual phenomenon that evokes awareness of the power of God in nature, so it would seem that a blessing would be called for, and in the absence of a specific brakhah, the one encompassing a more general class of phenomena would be appropriate.

The second Mishnah in chapter 9 of Tractate Berakhot offers two “generic” options for natural phenomena, and it would seem that one or the other of them would be the most logical choice. For mountains, rivers and deserts, one blesses God ” … who performs the work of creation.” (” עושה†מעשה†בראשית†” oseh ma’aseh bereshit) For shooting stars, earthquakes, lightning, or violent winds, the one blesses God “Whose power and might fill the universe.” ( “שכחו†וגבורתו†מלא†עולם†” shekokho ugevurato maleh olam)

Different explanations have been proposed as to why each of these formulae are particularly appropriate for the specific phenomena assigned to them. 6

1. Those phenomena, like rivers, mountains and so on, which receive the blessing “Who performs the work of creation” (oseh ma’aseh bereshit) are, on a human timescale, relatively permanent, and might be seen as having been part of the original order of creation. In contrast, those that receive the blessing “Whose power and might fill the universe” like earthquakes and so on are transitory expressions of power, clearly not in continuous existence on even human timescale, and may not be as strongly associated with the creation of the world.

2. Phenomena like mountains and rivers are perceived only in a localized area. whereas earthquakes, thunder or winds may be felt over a region beyond one’s line of sight, “filling the world.”

3. Those which are assigned the “Whose power and might” are often perceived to be dangerous or inspire fear, related to God’s power, while those which receive “Who performs the work of creation” are typically not seen as harmful.

Based on these criteria, it would seem that the most appropriate blessing upon witnessing a lunar or solar eclipse would be “Whose power and might fill the universe” (” שכחו†וגבורתו†מלא†עולם†”) It fits the criteria, most closely since the eclipse is a transitory event which is perceived over a wide area. Furthermore, even though most people do not perceive them as such today, eclipses were at one time considered a sign of danger (see below).

One could make the counterargument that there has been a trend to lean towards seeing “oseh ma’aseh bereshit” (“who performs the work of creation”) as the more general form of the blessing. In the Talmudic text 7, Rava seems to suggest that in some circumstances, both may be said. Later sages 8 indicate that one should recite only one of them over any given experience, so as to avoid “wasting” a blessing. In doing so, they leave the door open to choose either blessing, but in practice “Who performs the work of creation” often wins out. For example, though lightning originally was listed as “whose power”, is now typically assigned to “oseh ma’aseh bereshit.” (given the criteria above, this makes sense given that it is perceived as a more localized phenomenon, and does not have the same emotional impact as thunder). Furthermore, if one experiences both lightning and thunder, one says “oseh ma’aseh bereshit” on both. 9 Even though a strong wind is normally assigned shekokho uvegorato maleh olam (“Whose power fills the earth”), if one encounters a wind but one is not sure whether it is sufficiently violent, then

“Who performs the act of creation” is substituted. 10

Given the trend for other natural events, “Shekokho uvgevurato” is the more specific and therefore, most appropriate blessing, but one who recites “oseh ma’aseh bereshit” the more general form, has not lost out.

Practical Notes

Our tradition reminds us that we must stay away from anything that is a potential harm to life or limb. One should not look at a solar eclipse directly or even through regular sunglasses. A special eclipse-rated filter or pinhole apparatus should be used.

This blessing falls into the category of birkat hare’aya – blessings over that which is seen. A blessing should be said when the eclipse becomes visible, as opposed to being obscured by clouds. The blessing applies if the eclipse is seen through a filter or pinhole projection, for that is how eclipses are normally witnessed. One would not say a blessing over video of the event.


One who witnesses an eclipse should ideally recite the blessing:

” בָּרוּךְ†אַתָּה†יְיָּ†אֱלֹהֵינוּ†מֶלֶךְ†הָּעוֹלָּם, שֶכֹּחוֹ†וּגְבוּרָּתוֹ†מָּלֵא†עוֹלָּם†.” (Blessed.. Whose power and strength fill the world).

The more general blessing בָּרוּךְ†אַתָּה†יְיָּ†אֱלֹהֵינוּ†מֶלֶךְ†הָּעוֹלָּם, עוֹשֶה†מַעֲשֵה†בְרֵאשִׁית†(Blessed, who performs the work of creation”) would also be acceptable.

In addition, one may certainly add personal meditations or readings from our classic texts, like Psalm 121 or 148, or”El Adon” from the Shabbat Morning Shacharit.

1 With thanks to Rabbis Tim Bernard and Daniel Greyber for suggested texts


3 Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson Igrot Kodesh 15:1071.

4 Mishnah Berakhot 9:5

5 Rabbi Haim David HaLevy, Aseh Lekha Rav 5:7.

6 CF Avudraham “birkhat hareayah hashevach vehahodayah”, Mishnah Berurah 228:1 and Mishnah Berurah 227:5

7 Berakhot 59a

8 Mishneh Berurah 227:6

9 Mishneh Berurah Mishneh Berurah 227:5

10 Jerusalem Talmud Berakhot 9:2, cited in Tosafot on Berakhot 59a s.v al harukhot, and Mishneh Berurah 227:4


The Blessing to Be Said Upon Witnessing a Solar or Lunar Eclipse – Source Sheet

1. Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 29a

Our Rabbis taught: When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for the whole world. To what can this be compared? To a flesh and blood king who made a banquet for his servants and put a lamp in front of them. When he got angry with them he said to his servant, “Take the lamp away from them, and let them sit in the dark.”

Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by the moon and idolaters by the sun. If it is in eclipse in the east, it is a bad omen for those who live in the east; if in the west, it is a bad omen for those who live in the west; if in the midst of heaven it is bad omen for the whole world.

2. Igros Kodesh 15:1017 (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, 20th century)

It is known that one should not innovate a blessing that was not mentioned in the Talmud. The reason we do not say a blessing over an eclipse is because it is a sign of trouble coming, and in contrast one should pray for it to be cancelled, and call out without a brakhah.

Eclipses of the heavenly bodies are mentioned in several rabbinic texts, and it is a wonder that there is any doubt in this matter, for even the wise men of Egypt and Babylonia created tables of upcoming eclipses, and it is known from historical and holy texts that the Jews were in touch with these wise men.

From the fact that they created these tables of predicted eclipses, it is clear that the eclipse is a natural phenomenon, but it is also a sign, like the rainbow, which is a natural event, but also serves as a sign.

3. Mishnah Berakhot 9:2, 5 (2nd century)

On shooting stars, earthquakes, and lightning and thunder, and on winds, we say “Blessed… Whose power and might fill the universe.” On mountains and hills, and on oceans and rivers and on deserts, we say “Blessed… Who does the work of creation.”

One must recite a blessing over the bad just as one does over the good

4. R. David Abudraham Book of Explanations of Blessings and Prayers

(14th century Spain) Birkhot Hareiayah

On shooting stars, earthquakes and lightning and thunder and on wind, one says, “Blessed… whose power and might fill the universe,” meaning the one who give strength to nature to show the power of the Creator, so that people will fear Him. And if one prefers, once can say “who made creation.”

The blessing for mountains, peak, oceans and rivers and deserts is “Blessed… who does the work of creation” because they were created at that time and they are praise of the Creator, because today we know that God created them during the six day sof creation. If they are still here, then certainly their Creator is still here.

5. Shulkhan Arukh OH 227:1 (16th century)

For the “Zikin” (which are a star that shoots like an arrow across the heavens) and earthquakes and lightning and thunder and winds that rage, for each of these one says the blessing “Blessed are you… who does the work of creation” and if he wishes, he may say “… Whose power and strength fill the world.”

6. Mishneh Berurah 227:5-6

Winds that blew violently [we say “Whose power”] and if they are not violent, but still a great wind we say “Who does the work of creation” since they are not violent.

The common custom is to say over lightning “Who does the work of creation” and over thunder “Whose power …”

[when one has the choice of either blessing] One should not say both blessings, but should say one or the other.

7. Mishneh Berurah 228:1

[Over seas and rivers one says] “Who does the work of creation.” Since God established them from before, and it is the praise of God when we recognize today a thing that we know that God created during the six days of creation thats still exists. We should not say over them “whose power and glory…” as we do over wind and thunder, for those are seen and heard form afar, but all the seas and rivers are each in their own place.

Resource Four | Download PDF

Eclipse 2024 — blessings

Rabbi David Seidenberg |

When the disk of the sun is hidden, the sun’s corona is revealed. The moon ever so briefly “overpowers” the sun, but not all of the sun, so that the sun’s concealment becomes a revelation. During the brief moments of “totality”, the planets shine in midday. Some of the brighter stars and constellations visible only in the fall will show themselves in a spring sky.

Our ancestors sometimes saw an eclipse as a bad omen for the world, so they did not prescribe a blessing for it. But we understand an eclipse as a natural marvel that reminds us of the grandeur of Creation, so many rabbis now believe we should say a blessing. But which blessing? There are two candidates, but there are also two events: the eclipsing of the sun up until totality, and the revelation of the corona during totality.

The crown of the sun, in Hebrew, `atarah, becomes revealed only in the total eclipse. By all accounts, totality is a unique experience far different than witnessing a partial solar eclipse. It seems right therefore to say an additional blessing when one is privileged to see it. Here is one suggestion:

For the partial eclipse, when the sun’s light still fills the sky:


Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha’olam`oseh ma`aseh v’reishit

Blessed be You YHVH/Adonai our God, Ruler of all space and time, maker of the work of Creation

For the onset of totality, when the sun’s `atarah becomes visible:


Barukh Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha`olam shekocho ug’vurato v’zivo malei olam

Blessed be You YHVH/Adonai our God, Ruler of all space and time, whose power and might and radiance fill the universe.


Eclipse 2024 — reflections, Scripture and midrash

A prayer:

May the revelation of the sun’s wings bring us healing, as it says, וְזָרְחָה†לָכֶם†יִרְאֵי†שְׁמִי

שֶׁמֶשׁ†צְדָקָה†וּמַרְפֵּא†בִּכְנָפֶיהָ†— “And the sun of righteousness will shine for you and will bring healing in its wings, and you will go out and gambol like calves set free.”

(Malachi 3:20/4:2) May we recognize with awe the grandeur of Your works, as it says,

שְׂאוּ†מָרוֹם†עֵינֵיכֶם†וּרְאוּ†מִי†בָרָא†אֵלֶּה†— “Lift on high your eyes and see: Who created these?” (Isaiah 40:26) so that we may be filled with אַמִּיץ†כֹּחַ†courageous strength to heal the Earth from human destruction. May salvation arise for the heavens that shield us (atmosphere), so that sun’s rays will shine for blessing for us and for all life.

The eclipse of 2017 also precedes the beginning of the new moon of Elul, the New Year for animals. These verses connect the sun and moon and heavenly bodies with the creatures on Earth:

Nehemiah 9:6

The hosts of the heavens bow before God

אַתָּה†הוּא†יְהוָה†לְבַדֶּ†אתְּ†עָשִׂית†(ק†אַתָּה†עָשִׂיתָ) אֶת†הַשָּׁמַיִם†שְׁמֵי†הַשָּׁמַיִם†וְכָל-צְבָאָם†הָאָרֶץ

וְכָל-אֲשֶׁר†עָלֶיהָ†הַיַּמִּים†וְכָל-אֲשֶׁר†בָּהֶם, וְאַתָּה†מְחַיֶּה†אֶת-כֻּלָּם; וּצְבָא†הַשָּׁמַיִם, לְ†מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים

You are the One YHVH, alone by yourself you made the heavens, the heavens (beyond) the heavens and all their host, the Earth and all that is upon her, the seas and all that is in them, and You give live to them all, and to You do the host of the heavens bow.

Psalms 104:19-24

יט†עָשָׂ֣ה†יָ֭רֵחַ†לְמוֹעֲדִ֑ים†שֶׁ֝֗מֶשׁ†יָדַ֥ע†מְבוֹאֽוֹ׃†(כ) תָּֽשֶׁת־חֹ֭שֶׁ†וִ֣יהִי†לָ֑יְלָה†בּֽוֹ־תִ֝רְמֹ֗שׂ†כָּל־חַיְתוֹ־יָֽעַר׃†(כא)

הַ֭כְּפִירִים†שֹׁאֲגִ֣ים†לַטָּ֑רֶף†וּלְבַקֵּ֖שׁ†מֵאֵ֣ל†אָכְלָֽם׃†(כב) תִּזְרַ֣ח†הַ֭שֶּׁמֶשׁ†יֵאָסֵפ֑וּן†וְאֶל־מְ֝עוֹנֹתָ֗ם

יִרְבָּצֽוּן׃†(כג) יֵצֵ֣א†אָדָ֣ם†לְפָעֳל֑וֹ†וְֽלַעֲבֹ֖דָת֣וֹ†עֲדֵי־עָֽרֶב׃†(כד) מָֽה־רַבּ֬וּ†מַעֲשֶׂ֨י†׀†יְֽהוָ֗ה†כֻּ֭לָּם†בְּחָכְמָ֣ה

עָשִׂ֑יתָ†מָלְאָ֥ה†הָ֝אָ֗רֶץ†קִנְיָנֶֽ† Who made the moon for seasons; the sun knew its setting. You set darkness and it became night; through it all the wild animals of the forest creep. The lion cubs roar for prey, and for seeking their food from God. You make the sun shine and they gather themselves and into their dens they crouch. A human goes out to their work, and to their service, until evening. How diverse are Your works YHVH! All of them You made with Wisdom; the Earth is filled with Your possessions!

Psalm 19:2-7

The heavens declare God’s glory

(ב) הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם†מְֽסַפְּרִ֥ים†כְּבֽוֹד־אֵ֑ל†וּֽמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה†יָ֝דָ֗יו†מַגִּ֥יד†הָרָקִֽיעַ׃†(ג) י֣וֹם†לְ֭יוֹם†יַבִּ֣יעַֽ†אֹ֑מֶר†וְלַ֥יְלָה†לְּ֝לַ֗יְלָה

יְחַוֶּה־דָּֽעַת׃†(ד) אֵֽין־אֹ֭מֶר†וְאֵ֣ין†דְּבָרִ֑ים†בְּ֝לִ֗י†נִשְׁמָ֥ע†קוֹלָֽם׃†(ה) בְּכָל־הָאָ֨רֶץ†׀†יָ֘צָ֤א†קַוָּ֗ם†וּבִקְצֵ֣ה

תֵ֭בֵל†מִלֵּיהֶ֑ם†לַ֝שֶּׁ֗מֶשׁ†שָֽׂם־אֹ֥הֶל†בָּהֶֽם׃†(ו) וְה֗וּא†כְּ֭חָתָן†יֹצֵ֣א†מֵחֻפָּת֑וֹ†יָשִׂ֥ישׂ†כְּ֝גִבּ֗וֹר†לָר֥וּץ†אֹֽרַח׃†(ז)


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the works of God’s hands are retold by the sky. Day to day utters speech, and night to night gives life to knowledge. There is no speaking and there are no words — their voice (goes out) without being heard. In the all Earth their rays go out, and to the edge of the world their words, for the sun God made a tent in them. And he goes out like a groom from his canopy, like a warrior to run his course. From the edge of the heavens is his going out and his highest height is at their extremes, and there is none hidden from his heat.

Yalkut Shimoni 396

Why is it that Moses could not behold God’s face?




Just as with the sun, which is just one among thousands of thousands and millions of million of servants that serve before the One — no creature is able to stare at the sun, (so too) the Holy One blessed be, whose radiance fills the universe, is all the more so (impossible to see). But then when will the Holy One reveal this glory? When breathless (false) gods are purged from the world.

Baal Shem Tov, Keter Shem Tov 1, 246

Why is God called “sun and shield”?

It’s written: “Sun and Shield are YHVH Elohim” (Ps 84:11). It’s explained: the name Havayah (YHVH) is called sun/shemesh…and what’s written, “sun and shield”, means that there is something like a barrier protecting against the light of the sun. The sun is like an image of Hashem (YHVH), meaning to say, that it is impossible to look on the sun, because of the greatness of his light’s brightness… Similarly so is the brightness of the name HVYH: its light is very great…therefore it was necessary to contract it and limit it within the name Elohim אלהים†— the same gematria/numerology (=86) of Nature Hateva` הטבע†, which is the shield.

Maimonides/Rambam, Guide for the Perplexed 1:54

A last word: we know God by knowing God’s creation, or, God’s goodness = the goodness of Creation itself

When Moshe asked for knowledge of God’s attributes, God told him: “I will make all My goodness/kol tuvi pass before you” (Ex 33:19) “All My goodness” means the display to Moshe of all existing beings of Creation, about which it says: “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it is very good.” By their display, I mean that Moshe would be able to apprehend their nature and the way they are mutually connected, so that he will know how God governs them in general and in detail.

more resources/texts can be found at