Jews in Kiwi, New Zealand, were the first in the world to recite Birchas Hachama a short while ago. As daylight broke, Jews around the country recited tefillos. Rabbi Chaim Dovrat of Wellington said it was a “restaging of the heavens as they were at the beginning of time.”
The Sun rose at 6:24 a.m. today, Wednesday, in New Zealand. Rabbi Dovrat led the Birchas Hachama from the Webb St. shul at 7:45 a.m.
About 40 people, ranging in age from 5 to 77 – and including non-Jews – were at the shul for the celebration.
“It was surprisingly beautiful morning… It was suppose to be cloudy and rainy but at 7:45 a.m. the sun was so clear.”
Rabbi Dovrat said it was a special celebration as the 7500 Jews in New Zealand would be the first in the world to give the bracha of the sun.
“It’s a rare occasion, something you only get to do once or twice in your life.”
The bracha was said in Hebrew and English and “then it was, see you in 28 years,” Rabbi Dovrat joked.
Today is the 206th cycle of the sun aligning with its position when created during brias ha’olam.