Today is Erev Pesach (the day before Passover), the busiest day in the Jewish calendar filled with halachic and practical tasks to eliminate all chametz (unleavened bread) from our homes and prepare for the Seder tonight. This year we also commemorate an event that takes place once every 28 years.
According to the Torah the sun was created on the fourth day of the week. The sages calculated that since the sun takes 365 and a quarter days to do a full rotation, it returns to its original position every 28 years (4 years to make up an entire day, times seven cycles to get back to Wednesday). The text of the recited blessing is the same as that said upon seeing other natural phenomena, like lightning.
The choice of April 8 as the correct day for the blessing has been discussed extensively by Rabbi David J. Bleich on the OU website, where you can also download the text of the blessing, Josh Waxman, and DovBear.
One of the synagogues in the neighborhood broadcast the ceremony on a loudspeaker at 7 AM this morning. Oh well, it’s only once every three decades.
As for Pesach preparations, i have a note to @jugglingfrogs and my other Twitter followers: I was not looking for chametz behind the tile under the dishwasher. Before kashering it I moved it to clean underneath and the nearby gap that collects dirt and crumbs. I had to do that, right? A loose tile fell over, and when I put it back I noticed the pupae. Eww. I don’t know if they were alive or not.
Our main crisis so far has been losing one of the pieces of bread we hid last night for bedikat chametz, the traditional search for unleavened bread. (We declared it null and void.) That and the laundry, of which I still have too much despite my complaints about Pesach excess. And my back hurts–was that from moving the dishwasher? Please remind me next year.
Wishing a chag kasher ve-sameach, a happy, kosher and meaningful holiday, to all.