Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What is going on in Crown Heights today?

For anyone passing along Eastern Parkway this morning, you might be wondering what the giant celebration outside 770 is all about. (770 Eastern Parkway, or just 770 as it is often called, is the central headquarters of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement.) Today, Jews around the world have the opportunity to fulfill the commandment of blessing the sun, which only comes about once in very 28 years. According to Jewish tradition, this morning the sun returns to the same position, at the same time of the week, that it occupied at the time of its creation. In recognition of this special event, Jews in Crown Heights today gathered outside 770, to make the blessing and rejoice together about the special blessing and the start of Passover which begins tonight as sundown. This is a picture of the celebration in 1981, the last time the blessing was said. You may also notice fires or smoke around the neighborhood. It is customary to dispose of chametz, or leavened bread, before Passover by burning it.



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