Every 28 years, the sun returns to the spot it occupied at the time of creation. The year 2009 (5769 on the Hebrew calendar) was one of those occasions. To celebrate this event, Jewish people around the world recited a special blessing. In The Sun’s Special Blessing, Mr. Jacobs tells his third-grade Hebrew school students that when he was in third grade, his class buried a time capsule filled with mementoes from 1981. As they buried their time capsule, the class recited the special blessing for the sun. With shovels in hand, Mr. Jacobs and his students march out to unearth the time capsule with its treasures. Now it is their turn to fill their own time capsule with their special artifacts and for them to bless the sun. Although April 8, 2009, the date to say this special blessing, has passed, children may enjoy this story and may be interested to know that the next time for saying the blessing will be April 8, 2037 (Nissan 23, 5797). Interesting discussions may include how many more years until the next blessing, what each child would want to put into a time capsule, what they think represents their world. Colorful paper-cut illustrations help to tell the story. Ages 8 – 10.
Diane Levin Rauschwerger is librarian for Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA, and has worked as a children’s librarian for the Sunnyvale Public Library. She is the author of a series of children’s picture books, including Dinosaur on Hanukkah, Dinosaur on Passover, and Dinosaur on Shabbat, published by Kar-Ben Publishing.