The Sun, universally, in paganism, represented the male procreative spirit, the Moon the female. The weeping for Tammuz, and his powers of human and agricultural fertility, was a Babylonian ceremonial. Tammuz was also called Adonis, and the female counterpart Astarte, Mylitta, or Venus, according to location.
Honoring all of these pagan idols has been incorporated into Judaism.
The Babylonian Talmudic ceremony of Blessing the Sun, says the
Jewish Encyclopedia (1905) occurs "on the first Wednesday of Nisan every twenty-eight years . This is calculated by the calendar of Samuel Yarbina'ah, which allots to the solar year 365^ days, and asserts that each of the seven planets rules over one hour of the day in the following sequence: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon . the blessing is concluded with 'Alenu' and 'Kaddish Yatom.' The Blessing of the Sun was celebrated by the Jews in New York City in 1897 in Tompkins Square."
The completion of the cycle occurred during the 20th century on April 1, 1925 and March 18, 1953. April 8, 1981 is the date of the next observance.
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