- If you read anything, read this one. Apparently, associated with the hype up to Birkat HaChamah, there have been discussions in hareidi newspapers, in letters to the editor, about whether the geocentric or heliocentric model is correct (does the sun go around the earth or vice versa), and if propounding Copernicus' model is apikorsus. Avakesh has the goods. Apparently, Rav Chaim Kanievsky appears to be of the opinion that one is indeed a kofer in our faith:כי הנוקט כך הריהו כמכחיש מסורת וכופר באמונתנוAnd there is lots more. Read it all.
I wonder what sort of repercussions there are to this: in terms of where we turn for psak on matters pertaining to science; in terms of whether Daas Torah can be incorrect in terms of science; in terms of whether we can be called up to the Torah, etc. What about concerns about the vernal equinox differing from tomorrow? Is this even something that would register as a question? Probably, because R' Ada's account is encoded in halacha. But what if it weren't?
- Meanwhile, Rav Bar Chaim from Machon Shiloh has its own declaration of why not to do Birchat Hachamah. Read it inside. I am pretty sure I disagree with the Machon's general agenda, and I think I disagree with some of the particulars here. Perhaps in a later post I will analyze it and determine whether or not I agree.
Esser Agaroth has the same text, with a comment of the person who prompted the proclamation.
- ADDeRabbi has videos of another extremely rare mitzvah -- pidyon peter chamor.
- Life In Israel wonders whether birkat hachama is out of proportion.
- And Vesom Sechel explains why Birchat Hachamah is not a farce.
- Finally, DovBear summarizes some objections to saying the sun blessing, but then explains why he will be saying it.
- Update: Also, a video explanation of it from Oorah. (h.t. Yeranen Yaakov)