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!

  • 3
    Please upload pictures when you come back :)
    – Double AA
    May 14, 2012 at 17:02
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    So many requests. Here's one more: Please be mindful of the warning that appears when your mouse hovers over the halacha tag above: "Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends."
    – msh210
    May 14, 2012 at 18:21
  • To All... Thanks for suggestions on the website use! I am new to the site. @Double AA, I will see if I can upload some cool photos! May 14, 2012 at 18:35
  • @PesachDavid How'd it go?
    – Double AA
    May 30, 2012 at 8:30
  • @DoubleAA, sorry I missed your comment. It went great. It was quite a spectacle. The desert was amazing. It is easy to see how great spiritual revelation can occur in the desert. Aug 20, 2012 at 19:08

2 Answers 2


Orchot Rabbeinu 1 p 93 quotes the Steipler that no bracha is said on a solar eclipse because it is a Siman Ra', a bad omen as outlined on Sukkah 29a and in this question.

In the book Shaar HaAyin (7:6 footnote 13), the author quotes the Shevet HaLevi as leaving the issue in doubt.

  • I had heard that an eclipse of the moon is a Siman Ra' for Israel, and that an eclipse of the sun is a Simon Ra' for the Nations. For myself, I simply want to acknowledge the perfection of Hashem's creation, as revealed through an eclipse. If there is no specific blessing, would it be improper to make a "...oseh ma-aseh b'reisheit"? May 14, 2012 at 18:33
  • @PesachDavid The discussions involved in the sources I posted are precisely about if Oseh Maaseh Vereishit can be extended to natural events which are not explicitly list in the gemara. I don't think anyone thought there was a unique bracha to say, as none is mentioned in the gemara.
    – Double AA
    May 15, 2012 at 18:47

Based on my own research into Birkath Hachama and Kiddush Levanah and building on this answer, I suggest the following:

After the end of totality (or after peak eclipse if you are not in the umbra's path), recite the three psalms used in both ceremonies:

  • Ps. 148, v. 1 through 6.
  • Ps. 121 (for supplication)
  • Ps. 150

Then the entire first bracha of the weekday shaharit, from "yotzeir or u'vorei choshech" through "yotzeir hame'orot."

If a minyan is present and it is time to recite minchah, continue directly with minchah.

Finally, as soon as permitted (normally the 3rd day of the new month after sunset), recite Kiddush Levanah.

Disclaimer: IANAR, this is lay opinion, practice proper eclipse safety.

  • I’ve also heard Tehillim 19 (“hashamayim misaprim kevod Keil”) and Keil Adon (“tovim me’oros shebara Elokeinu”) should be said.
    – DonielF
    Aug 21, 2017 at 16:35
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    As far as Kiddush Levanah, do note that it’s a machlokes in the poskim whether we count by the solar eclipse or the calculated molad. Also note that we try to delay until Motzaei Shabbos, which is after 3 days from either count.
    – DonielF
    Aug 21, 2017 at 16:36
  • @DonielF: What would be a better phrasing? Aug 21, 2017 at 17:55
  • @doniel that machloket is only about the end time for kiddush levana. You can say kiddush levana as soon as you see the moon [and some say when you see it and benefit from its light]
    – Double AA
    Aug 21, 2017 at 21:31
  • @DoubleAA I’m well aware. That’s why I worded it how I did - “we try” to delay. Not “we delay.”
    – DonielF
    Aug 21, 2017 at 21:33

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