Stephen Colbert Misses The Sunrise

By Devra Ferst

Published April 15, 2009, issue of April 24, 2009.

‘You know, I have been waiting my entire life to witness an event of biblical proportions,” Stephen Colbert said on the April 8 episode of his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” referring to the recitation of Birkat Hachamah, the Blessing of the Sun. The event, which occurs every 28 years, was observed this year on the morning of April 8, which was also the Eve of Passover. It celebrates the sun’s return to its original place in the cosmos as when the world was created, according to tradition.

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Colbert, along with many Jewish bloggers and journalists, was under the impression, thanks to a wide-spread rumor, that the sun has returned to this location on the Eve of Passover, the 14th of Nisan, only twice before, both times preceding events of biblical importance: the Exodus from Egypt and the original miracle of Purim.

But as Ben Dreyfus, a comedian and blogger on jewschool.com points out, the last time the event occurred on this date was in 1925, only three cycles ago. The rumor, according to Dreyfus, has been spreading on the Internet for the past few years. “I read that this [rumor] first appeared in 1925. It wasn’t true then, either!” Dreyfus told The Shmooze. Well, Mr. Colbert, sorry to disappoint, but it looks like you’ll just have to keep waiting with the rest of us for an event of truly biblical proportions.



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