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The Solar Eclipse


Dear Rabbi,

What halacha is known for viewing or discussing an eclipse? Meaningful event to many but chaos and terror for the natural world. Manners of animals and insects change.

I made a purchase of solar proofed glasses. I must think many yidden will view.



I don’t know of any specific halacha regarding viewing an eclipse, (there is an opinon that says make a bracha “Oseh maaseh breishis”, but without saying H-shem’s name), however it does have significance in Jewish thought. The torah tells us (Bereishis 1-14) “v’hoyu l’osos, u’lmoadim” that one of the functions of the sun and the moon are as a sign from heaven. As rashi on that verse says, “when the luminaries are stricken it is a bad sign for the world… however when we will do the will of H-shem we will have no need to fear. When we see the solar eclipse we have to see H-shem behind it, the one who orchestrated the world in a manner that such a phenomenon can happen. The reason he did it, is to show us that he is the one who controls the sun, and the light ion the world. Yes, he gives us sun on a regular basis, and it is from one of the most stable things in our life, “like the sun rising in the morning”, but very occasionally he wants to let us know that, that it is really He who is behind the solar system, and it doesn’t just run on it’s own. Yes an eclipse is scary, but maybe that is one of the purposes of it, that our fear of heaven should be enhanced.


Shaar Hayin chap.7 ftnt. 13,15, Chovos Halevavos Shar Cheshbon Hanefesh 3-23.

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  1. There is a sefer Shaar Hayin which is on the Brachos of seeing. And he discusses in there if the things mentioned in Siman Reish Chuf Zayin are dafka or any phenomenon one should make a bracha on. He has teshuvas from Rav Shmuel Wosner ZT”L in the back and he asks him if one should make a bracha on the eclipse. Rabbi Wosner responded “Tzarich l’hisyashiv b’davar”. According to Rav Wosner it is a safek and it would seem that one should refrain from looking at it.

    1. This is an interesting point.
      In the above sefer(chap.7 ftnt. 13) he brings from Orchos Rabeinu 1 pg. 95, and the Chazon Ish who specifically say not to make bracha on it, and even R’ Wosner was in doubt about it, therefore the rule of safek brachos lehakel will apply. Also see ftnt. 15 that he says that we should say a bracha but without H-shem’s name. I don’t think it is ciorrect not to look at it at all, because it is something that enhances a person yiras shomayim, as he brings from the chovos Halevavos Shar Cheshbon Hanefesh 3-23.

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