|A B’rakha on the Venus Transit?|
|Written by harav|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2012 00:00|
A B’rakha on the Venus Transit?
May I ask the Rav a shaila? I am interested in astronomy. Do you recommend I say a bracha when I witness an unusual astronomical event such as the transit of the sun by Venus that is to occur in a few days?
1. Your question is a very good one. The B'rakha 'Ose B'reshith (this is the correct nusah, not 'Ose Ma'ase B'reshith) is a generic b'rakha which Hazal recommend be recited when witnessing several types of natural phenomena which are majestic and impressive, reminding us of He who created all that we see and hear. Thus we find this b'rakha is to be said when hearing thunder, seeing lightning, experiencing an earthquake, seeing comets or falling stars, or even upon seeing mountains and valleys, seas and rivers which make an impression on us. See Rambam's MT B’rakhoth 10:16-17.
2. This B'rakha is also recited annually upon seeing the Sun on the day of the summer solstice. See here for a fuller discussion of this matter. (A revised version of this latter responsum is in the works.)
3. Viewing the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun is surely as impressive and majestic a sight as seeing a great mountain or a falling star. I therefore consider it proper and correct to recite the B'rakha 'Ose B'reshith if one is able to view the Venus transit.
Rabbi David Bar-Hayim
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2012 22:03|