JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than 50,000 Jews gathered at the Western Wall to recite the once-in-28-years Blessing of the Sun.
The blessing, called the Birkat Hachama, is said every 28 years when the sun reaches the point where it was situated when the world was created, and when that moment falls on a Wednesday.
Roads leading into the Old City were closed Wednesday morning to accommodate the worshipers.
Thousands of Jews participated in Wednesday’s ritual throughout Israel, in historic venues such as Masada, as well as atop tall office towers.
The first Jewish communities to mark the ritual were in New Zealand.
The ritual has not occurred more than 12 times on the eve of Passover. Among those occassions, some say, was the actual Exodus from Egypt.