Intro


Greetings,

In 2007, I visited the Kabbalistic city of Safed, in northern Israel, and enjoyed the New Year services at the amazing Beirav Synagogue, with its many great Shlomo Carlebach songs. Tzivia Polsky, the wife of one of its founders, told me that this next Birkat HaChama – which means in Hebrew "Blessing of the Sun" and happens only every 28 years – will be an exceptional one (the third most auspicious celebration since the creation of the sun). Immediately, I felt its crucial timing.

Later that spring, on Shavuot, I was driving from the Ma'arat Hamachpela in Hebron (the ancient tomb of our patriarchs and matriarchs) to Jerusalem. As the red sun was setting over the old city of Jerusalem, I had a strong feeling that we must gather all communities in the Holy Land and the world to open a gateway of hope and renewal for the next cycle of life, as the sun revisits the point of its creation (see Kabbalistic Sources). Safed felt like the ideal place to invite the sacred Shekinah in to its midst. I hope that we can unite all faiths, all walks of life, and people in all their diversity, as the Sun revisits its original place of birth.

The Next Year's upcoming Birkat HaChama will occur on Passover and Easter, in April 2009. Let us offer a special prayer of hope for a better world where we can finally inhabit the meaning of FREEDOM in ourselves, around us, for our neighbors, with our loved ones, and for the world in its fullest sense of manifestation. Join us at this Sun Blessing event in Safed as we renew our individual lives, learn about innovative solar energy resources, and gain renewed faith in humanity, as well as joining its mystical power with other cities in the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem, and the rest of the world.

With Sun–filled Blessings, Eva Ariela Lindberg



Program in Short

SUN BLESSING FESTIVAL
in the most Kabbalistic City in the world.
BIRKAT HaCHAMA in Safed, Israel - 8 – 15 April 2009
How often do we celebrate our SUN’s BIRTHDAY?

The Birkat HaChama (means in Hebrew The Blessing of the Sun) Festival will begin on the morning of April 8th, Erev Pesach, next Spring 2009. Erev Pesach (literally, the Eve of Passover) is the day preceding the annual seven-day Festival of Freedom. The actual Blessing of the Sun Prayer will be recited on Erev Pesach morning (Hebrew date: 14 Nisan, 5769) and four days before Easter Sunday. According to ancient Jewish tradition, once every 28 years the Sun returns to the position it occupied when it was created at the beginning of the fourth day of creation (Genesis I:14).

THE SUN IS OUR MAJOR ENERGY SOURCE, yet how often do we thank God for creating it? It was situated at a perfect distance from our planet, not too near, nor too far away, in just the perfect balance to foster and maintain life. This window in time is an invitation for us to co-create a better future, together, by honoring its source and each other. This is the first year after Shmita (in the Jewish tradition, every seventh year, one stops all agricultural activities, in order to let Mother Earth rest). Thus, this is a time to re-plant, to grow anew, and to bring fresh blossoms to the world. We are planting new seeds for a better future and for the renewal of the next 28-year cycle. The Kabbalists believe that the Messianic times will come at the end of a Shmita year, so let’s help in the miracle making! (See accompanying article that explains the Kabbalistic tradition and the significance of the year leading up to this Passover 2009.)

This Safed-based Kabbalistic Blessing of the Sun Festival is a…
A Modern Biblical Community Event
A Renewal of Alternative Solar Energies
— recharging our environment for another 28 year cycle
An Evocation of Mystical Experiences, featuring a ceremony on the Metsudah,
— the ancient citadel in the geographic center of the town Safed
A Celebration of Cultural Diversity, with musical Performances,
— art displays, poetry readings, and playful activities, and
Is Blessed with Exceptional Timing, as it is considered by the Kadosh Elyon
— to be the third most auspicious Birkat HaChama in history

During the last 28 years we have suffered from damaging pollution; let’s co-create the next 28-year cycle of a PURER ENVIRONMENT!

MISSION STATEMENT
This Sun Blessing Festival will be an opportunity for Bridging of worlds; culturally and traditionally, between non – religious and religious people in the Holy land and world wide. To mingle culturally and learn new alternative ideas and artistic methods. To invite and inspire people from all over the world to partake in a mystical Passover in the most Kabbalah-rich town in the world, which also happens to fall on Easter Sunday. The 2009 Passover, will enhance a Freedom filled community feeling, in where we partake responsibly in renewing our world through our most precious source - the Sun. And together elicit a new chapter in our lives to come, as the sun re-starts its path into a new cycle, we too can recharge our batteries for the next 28 years to come. Co-create a better and more positive future for ourselves and our children, through cooperation, between all faiths, religions, and walks of life, etc. As the sun shines upon all people, we acknowledge our vulnerability and need of the sun’s warmth and rays, as well as the fact that if we let it shine upon us, we can gently rule our lives, just as flowers needs the sun to grow and become beautiful blossoms, we too, can celebrate our beauty and differences under to embrace of the sun.

WHY SAFED?
In Safed and in its vicinity, many Kabbalists discovered the secrets of Jewish mysticism, through the Zohar, attributed to Shimon Bar Yochai (whose tomb is in nearby Meron), master kabbalist Isaac Luria’s explanations of the Tree of Life, his revelation of the secrets of reincarnation, and his creation of the Kabbalat Shabbat ritual, which included the commissioning of “Lecha Dodi,” composed by Shlomo Alkabetz, and the Tu b’Shvat Seder, all derived from the inspiration of the Tzaddikim (holy sages) of Safed. This Holy City is said to host the Shekhinah Herself (the female principle of God), so by our coming together to honor the Blessing of the Sun, in Her midst, we may be able to elicit and enhance the messianic times, B'ezrat HaShem. As a consequence, we may inspire our sister city Jerusalem to co-celebrate this event, as the Birkat HaChama prayer is recited there at the Western Wall on Pesach 2009.

DATES:
One week-long Festival, starting on the Eve of Passover, April 8th, 2009, and ending on April 15th. 12- 14 April will be days of workshops, art shows, Hallel and more.

EVENTS: Fields of Interest & Activities

SAFED CITADEL/METSUDAH CEREMONY; Safed (Early Morning, 8th April)

  1. SUN PRAYER–BIRKAT HaCHAMA Prayer
  2. Bikur Achim - 12 tribes gathering in ceremony with Evnei Ha'Chosehn and more.
  3. Lenses and the Sun – Burning the chametz (The unleavened bread).
  4. Sun Signaling via Mirrors: Capturing the Sun Rays and creating a series of reflections from one Mountaintop to the other, from Safed to Jerusalem.

A BIG COMMUNITY PASSOVER SEDER at Ascent (Evening of 8 April).

WORKSHOPS & LECTURES (12-14 April)
Lectures in Kabbalah – Ascent and more.
Experiential Events – Local Safed and Guest Presenters
Solar Energy – Christer Lindstrom; Solar Powered Cars, www.podcar.org.
Solar Company Displays and innovative alternative energy products
Musical Performances and Dance
Poetry - subject The Sun (Miriam F. Lindberg Poetry for Peace Foundation)
Women’s Tent and Children participations (Sun Dance, etc.)

PRAYERS and Hol Hamoed Events:
Beirav Synagogue, AbuAv, Ari zal, Kosov, Noam, etc.
ART SHOWS – Subject the SUN
PLANTING: Sun Flowers, Trees
CLOSURE: Sieudat Massiach – The Feast of the Messiah

LOCAL and INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT:
While we are having the festival in Safed, other places in Israel, its neighbors and the world will join in saluting the creation of sun from where ever on the planet, through the internet, video conferences and broadcasting, meditation circles, prayers, sun-dances etc. To give thanks to this irreplaceable source of energy, which we cannot survive without.

Visit our websites: www.sunblessing.orgwww.birkathachama.co.il


Eva Ariela Lindberg
Festival Coordinator & Visionary
Tulip Center (415) 488-1745
Art Studio (510) 527-4389
Woodacre, California
Israel: 054-4860597
www.tuliplove.com , www.evadeva.com

Amos Lotan, ZHR
Administrative Manager & Planner
Safed, Hazor and Rosh Pina, Tourist Office.
Telephone 04-6801465, 050/6624770
www.zhr.org.il