The study or observation of objects or phenomena outside the Earth, including the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars.

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Is there an exhaustive list of astronomical/environmental events for which there are blessings?

Inspired by: What Bracha should you say on a Hurricane? What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? Bracha for the transit of Venus? What b'racha do you say on seeing the Aurora Borealis (if ...
14
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7answers
672 views

How did the moon shrink?

The Bavli, Chulin 60:2, says (in my own loose translation): Rabbi Shim'on ben Pazi noted a contradiction: [B'reshis 1:16] says, "God made the two big luminaries" and "the big luminary… and ...
10
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3answers
368 views

Permissibility of images of celestial bodies

There is precedent in halachah that one may not create images of celestial bodies such as the moon and stars; see here for background. This is derived in the Gemara from the pasuk "Do not make [images ...
10
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1answer
138 views

What defines “on this earth” from a halachic standpoint?

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firrer asked whether Torah Law must be observed in space, since Deuteronomy 12:1 says one should follow the Commandments "all of the days which you are alive on this earth." What ...
6
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3answers
504 views

Eclipse of the moon, bad sign for the Jews

Tonight, December 20, 2010, there will be a full lunar eclipse visible from North America and many other areas. I recall there is a Gemara that says that a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for the Jews as ...
11
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1answer
463 views

What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse?

What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? I will be in Nevada next week and would like to make a blessing over the May 21 Solar Eclipse. Thanks!
10
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2answers
366 views

Latest shabbat not longest day…?

I was under the impression that the longest day was June 22nd, and yet, year after year- the latest time for candle lighting takes place about a week and a half after that. Intuitively, the latest ...
7
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1answer
165 views

New date at sunset: question on Sifse Chachamim

Avoda Zara 25 cites a difference of opinion as to how long the sun stood still for Y'hoshua: twelve hours, twenty-four, or thirty-six. According to those who say twelve or thirty-six, the sun finally ...
6
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2answers
499 views

Is the midrash about the moon and sun being the same size intended literally?

The Rambam in his introduction to perek Chelek discusses midrashic literalist, and classifies different approaches of different groups to midrash. He writes: You should know that as to ...
7
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6answers
938 views

How to Resolve Kiddush Levana and Celestial Worship, (Avodas Kochavim)?

In general Kiddush Lavanah has always seemed to me to be akin to "Avodas Kochavim" - so does anyone know of a satisfying answer that works with Occam's razor? More specifically: We say Just as I can ...
10
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2answers
210 views

Bracha for the transit of Venus?

Venus is transiting today for the last time until 2117 (or 5878, if you prefer). Is there a specific bracha that should be made upon witnessing this spectacular event?
7
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1answer
272 views

What b'racha do you say on seeing the Aurora Borealis (if any)?

If one is so lucky as to see the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) or its southern equivalent, does one say a b'racha? If so which one? I've heard that oseh ma'aseh v'reishit applies to comets and ...
4
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2answers
331 views

What time is sunset?

Is sunset (Shkiya) the time the sun hits the horizon or when it sunk completely below it? What about sunrise?
4
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2answers
251 views

Stars are living creatures?

the Rambam in yesodei torah says that stars are creatures with intellect. how do we reconcile this with modern science which says that they are merely inanimate balls of hydrogen and helium gas.
3
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1answer
154 views

Good and Bad Omen - on something that can be calculated in advance

Inspired by Why make a bracha on an earthquake but not on an eclipse? When something can be predicted in advance to an exact moment - for example an eclipse which Chazal say it is a bad Omen (Sukkah ...
4
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1answer
371 views

Jewish Sunrise and Sunset

How can one calculate Jewish sunrise and sunset? I'm not necessarily asking for a formula. Just wondering if there's a difference between Halachik rise/set and what the world considers [e.g. science] ...
7
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1answer
219 views

Plants before the Sun in the Order of Creation

Why does plant life precede the Sun in the order of creation given that plants need the Sun to do photosynthesis?
8
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1answer
284 views

What does Maimonides say about geocentrism?

I have read that Maimonides described the universe in a geocentric fashion, but I have not been able to find the specific passages to which they refer. What does Maimonides say about geocentrism?
8
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2answers
783 views

Magen Avraham - Practically no Plag HaMinḼah or just no Plag HaMinḼah in winter?

Calling all science and math-oriented Judaism.SE-ers! According to the website MyZmanim.com, today's Halachic times where I work are as follows (only a handful of times are shown because the question ...
7
votes
3answers
152 views

Depicting a constellation

Assuming the intention is at least partly for educational purposes, Is it mutar to arrange star stickers in the form of actual constellations (say, on a ceiling) or is that included in the prohibition ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

How accurate is the Molad?

To the best of my knowledge the Molad is every 29.5 days + 793 Chalakim. Is there any information showing if the current Molad calculation is accurate scientifically? If it is off by how much is it ...
4
votes
1answer
308 views

Why make a bracha on an earthquake but not on an eclipse?

According to this page, Chaza"l intentionally omitted solar and lunar eclipses from the list of natural phenomena upon which we make a bracha. The following explanation is given: "The Hebrew term ...
2
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3answers
186 views

Astrology in the Torah

The Torah seems to have many examples where astrology is deemed real. (such as the astrology predictions that Moshe would be struck by water which made Paraoh throw the jewish males in the nile river. ...
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2answers
300 views

When did hashem stop the sun?

As in the time of milchemes Ay, Hashem stopped the sun for 36 hours . Where else in Tanach did it happen? I need more then one.