Programs

The Blessing of the Sun Festival in Safed, April 2009.
Northern Israel, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

Programs and events are hosted by the various SAFED/TZFAT organizations, and may have entrance fees for classes and workshops. More updates to be posted.
View the different programs hosting the events for contacts and for more INFO.

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Birkat HaChama Festival in SAFED, April 8-15, 2009
The Birkat HaChama (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 Nissan 5769). 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 1: 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 Kabbalistic Information for an explanation of 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 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 our town
  • A Celebration of Cultural Diversity, with musical performances, art displays, poetry readings, healing workshops, 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 is recited there at the Western Wall on Pesach 2009.

DATES:
One week-long Festival, starting on the Eve of Passover (Erev Pesach), April 8th, 2009, and ending on April 15th.

EVENTS: Fields of Interest & Activities.

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

  1. SUN PRAYER – BIRKAT Ha CHAMA Prayer
  2. Bikur Achim - 12 tribes gathering in ceremony with Evnei Ha’Chosehn (Adam Kayn, L.A.).
  3. Lenses and the sun – Burning the chametz.
  4. Series of "Masuot" on Mountain Tops, from Safed to Jerusalem.

Burning the Chametz (Burning the unleavened bread) with a Big Optic Lens – Bridging the materialistic world with the spiritual world and religious practice of Shrifat chametz.
Sun Clock: Based on the natural path of the sun cycle. Building it with natural materials.
Creating a stone labyrinth on flat ground, for permanent use.

A Sensational Passover Experience – In the Spirit of Safed and Kabbalah.
Join Ascent for an “Out of this World” 36 Hours of Non-Stop Exciting Activities for the Ultimate Passover Experience.
Pre-Seder Activities – Amazing Lectures and Workshops “Preparing for the Festival.” Safed's Largest Seder ever – A Special All-Night Passover Seder, Set in a Unique Setting, with Hundreds of Guests. Post-Seder Activities – Thrilling Lectures, Workshops, and Interactive Discussions on the Mystical Nature of Passover. Followed by an “Ask the Rabbi” Session. Led by Ascent's Finest Spiritual Teachers.
“In the Footsteps of the Kabbalists” – Night and Daytime Tours of the Old City.

Series of "Masuot" on Mountain Tops, from Safed to Jerusalem.
Starting, as the sun rises on the day of the Birkat HaChama, April 8, 2008, at the Metsudah (Citadel) in Safed, we plan to create a series of Masuot (old biblical ways of creating "bonfires") on Mountain Tops, from Safed, via Meiron to Jerusalem.

After all, the Birkat Hachama (sun blessing) is derived from the Bible, and is therefore best celebrated from the Holy Land, sending its effect and energy out to the rest of the world, creating a new chapter of relating to each other, almost like friendly smoke signals (as occurred in the Bible, for New moon tribe signaling and as the Native American Indian used for communication between their tribes). Here Israel is sending a sign of PEACE to the world through the blessing of the Sun.

From Friday April 10 –15:

Lectures in Kabbalah – Ascent and other teachers, workshops.
Experiential Events – Local Safed and Guest Presenters
Sun Energy Resources – Christer Lindstrom; Pod Cars-Solar Powered Cars (www.podcar.org). And other Solar Energy Company Displays
Musical Performances and Dance
Poetry – subject The Sun: (Miriam F. Lindberg Poetry for Peace Foundation)

Women’s Tent – Workshops, mikve, childcare, and more:
Circles of dance and joy, artistic expression, relaxation, meditation
Shirat ha’nishama – Women’s PRAYER and PRAISE: song, chants
The Secrets of Mikve: THE FEMININE side of creation
The Well of Miriam (art & sculpture workshop)
Alternative health sessions (reflexology, acupuncture)
Fertility and Faith, Torah YOGA, and much more…

Children‘s Programming (Sun Dance, etc.)

Planting Flowers; SUN FLOWERS, etc. – to start the new seeds for change. In the book Tulip Love (www.tuliplove.com), which is almost like a Tulip Dictionary and spirtual guide – there is a desription of how to plant with intention, to plant via prayers seeds and bulbs in order to grow new ideas and manifest our dreams. We will plant anew our future, with prayers of peace and hope. We will also plant trees.

ART SHOWS – Subject the SUN
Art Exhibition at Yigal Allon Cultural Center or at the General Exhibition Art Galley. Solar Themes, Sculptures, Displays. Photographs of Sun Images, Solar spots, etc.
Open Studios by local artists in Safed and the vicinity, open to the general public.
5th Dimensional Art Media Projection & Dance – Eva Ariela Lindberg
Perek Hashira Exhibition – a display of prayers for all living elements, plants and animals as well as the Sun.

MUSIC CONCERTS:
Concert at the New Amphitheatre (Mayaan Haradom)
Music at Yigal Allon Cultural Center
International and Local Bands, Safed Klezmer Bands, Tel Aviv Bands, and more

HEALTH CONSCIOUS WORKSHOPS:
Sun-related topics: how to prevent cancer, to support skin cancer victims, etc.
The sun is a present if we know how to use it, and if not it can harm us…

Art & Kabbalah – David Friedman
Tikkun Klali – Music and meditation
Hebrew Letter Movements for Healing and Renewal – Yehudit Goldfarb
Sun-salutation – Yoga exercises – Miriam Friedman & Joy Strauss
Tulip Healing; How to Blossom into a New Future – Eva Ariela Lindberg
Poetry Readings – Reuven Goldfarb
SUN SIGNS: The meaning of the Hebrew Months – Miryam Zislovich
and more…

Prayers and Hol Hamoed Events at Beirav:

Shabbat & Morning Musical Hallel
At Beirav Synagogue, Safed,
Shlomo Carlebach Minyan
Led by Chazan Meir Glaser

“Post Seder Shabbat” 10-11 April
Friday – Saturday/Shabbat services

Hallel – Hol Hamoed 12-14 April,
location to be announced

CLOSURE: Seudat Massiach – The Feast of Messiah

Safed Synagogies: AbuAv, Ari zal, Noam, etc.

Sacred Holy Sites:
Meron: Burial Site of R’ Shimon Bar Yochai
Amuka: Burial Site of R’ Yehonatan Ben Uziel
Nabariya: Ancient Synagogue in Biriya

Information Center and Library:
A source of reading material on solar energy, the traditional Birkat HaChama Prayer, sun related cultures, etc. A nice cozy sitting space, where people can come and read about the Sun Blessing and receive information regarding programs, etc.
Sun Energy Information, reading material and all the sources derived from it. How to save our dying planet. Solar cars. Solar fuel, solar heating, etc.

FUTURE VISION:
A 28-year cycle of renovations – alternative energy sources to save our planet and solar system; different themes etc. Sharing Kabbalistic teachings. Keep a yearly festival with a different theme focused on the solar system. Traveling art show. The theme of the SUN.

LOCAL INVOLVEMENT:
Jerusalem, Modein, Tel Aviv, Hebron, Tiberias, etc.

INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT: Interactive Global Map
While we are having the festival in Safed, other places in the world will join in as we all are thanking our Creator for the creating the sun; through the internet, video conferences and broadcasting, meditation circles, prayers, etc. We are gathering together to give thanks to our Creator for this irreplaceable source of energy, which without we cannot survive.
http://www.sunblessing.org/world_wide_participation

Palm beach
Toronto
San Francisco
Los Angeles
North Carolina
New York
Scotland – Findhorn
Stockholm
Big Island, Hawaii
Japan
Etc.

PLANNING TEAM:
Professional Manager and Overseer, Visionary–Eva Ariela Lindberg
Administrative Manager & Planner– Amos Lotan, ZHR, Galil.
Kabbalah studies – Ascent of Safed
Noam – Rabbi Jehuda (Prayer Services and Workshops)
Art Program – Curator Reely Wasser
Beirav Synagogue – Meir Glaser
Recycling & Renovation of the city of Safed – Moshe Tov
Women’s Tent – Elisheva Mirvis

Dates:
One week-long Festival, starting Eve of Passover (Erev Pesach),
April 8, 2009, and ending on April 15.

Map
An old Safed Map will be re-touched for the purpose of the different locations of the OPEN STUDIOS, workshops, concerts, sacred tombs, synagogues, the Birkat HaChama prayer (at Metsudah), and more.


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
Festival Administrator & Planner

Safed, Hazor and Rosh Pina, Tourist Office.
Telephone 04-6801465, 050/6624770
www.zhr.org.il