Eclipse the Hate: a Kavvanah for the Current Moment

There is a berakhah / blessing that may be recited if you see tomorrow’s eclipse:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָּעוֹלָּם, שֶכֹּחוֹ וּגְבוּרָּתוֹ מָּלֵא עוֹלָּם

Barukh attah Adonai, Eloheinu melekh ha-olam, shekoho ugvurato malei olam.

Praised are You, God, Sovereign of time and space, whose power and might fill the universe.

It is an acknowledgment that natural phenomena bring us an awareness of the majesty of the universe, and perhaps how little control we have over the powerful forces around us.


This is a time when we are all truly anxious about what’s going on – events in Charlottesville and also here in Pittsburgh suggest that the haters have resurfaced after a long latency.

But we cannot fear. On the contrary, we should only walk with our heads held higher, as we stand together with all others who are the targets of hatred.

When the moon passes between us and the sun, the moon’s shadow reduces the light for a bit. But it is temporary, and the light returns.

We may be entering a darker time right now. But we have to make sure that the light returns to our world, that we return the forces of darkness back to their slimy lairs.

We must stand together in ahavat hinnam, boundless love, against rising sin’at hinnam, causeless hatred, in our world. We must speak up, because, in the language of the Talmud, “Shetikah kehodayah damei.” Silence is equivalent to complicity.  Now is the time to march in the streets, to stand with the African-American community, the Asian, Latino, immigrant, refugee and LGBTQ+ communities, as we let our power and might fill the world.

Because, just as the sun emerges after the eclipse, casting light on us all, love will ultimately conquer hate.



Rabbi Seth Adelson


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