Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Birkat ha-Chama

The accompanying picture of Rabbi Samuels of Cong. Shaarei Tefillah leading the shul in Birkat ha-Chama #206 (5769) was taken by me with my palm Treo at 6:57am.

On one side, Birkat ha-Chama is a fun halakha; as we'd expect with astronomy, in good Halley's Comet form, it comes so infrequently to make it very special.

On the other side, for people like me - highly secular educated religious Jews - this halakha exemplifies the worst of the quasi-science that the anti-Rationalist Daas Torahniks like to inflict on the rest of us. The rabbinic cognoscenti know that everything declared to be a "fact" with Birkat ha-Chama is actually untrue (e.g. the calendar is according to Rav Ada, not Shmuel; we basically hold like Rebbe Eliezer for creation, not Rebbe Yehoshua... in fact, I'd claim that the rabbis are signaling us that this is a charade by davka paskening like Shmuel etc.) And don't get me started on how we add days for the Gregorian shift yet don't take into account the modifications of the Julian calendar.

So it's difficult to stand up and say 'we need to wait 28 years in order for the sun to be in the exact position at Creation' while using NONE of the Torah-True-Science that would give us the accurate day.

I mean, seriously, why don't we do this every year on the 29th of Elul? That would at least be honest in the sense that it says "this is a religious event, following Scripture, to acknowledge creation." Instead we use pseudo-science, and pseudo-logic. It's things like this - claiming false-science as true - that drive away the intelligentsia.

The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun
Found at bee mp3 search engine

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