Monday, April 20, 2009

A Virtual Sun


After writing the previous post, on reflection, I decided that I was exhibiting a lack of emunah, faith. After all, surely it would be sunny on April 8th, if that was what Hashem intended, and my own efforts in traveling to somewhere the sun was shining would be pointless. This decision was aided by a forecast that showed cloud cover for about 1000 miles in all directions. So I decided to not travel and trust that the sun would be visible here. Also I figured that since the more frequent mitzvah takes precedence, the Pesach Seder should come before the sun blessing, and it was more important to have a proper Seder at home than to have a “take-out” Seder in some hotel.
As you can see from the photo, it was not sunny, not only could the sun not be seen, it was difficult to see the next hill. The hours passed, no clearing, not even lessening of the fog, the children were upset, they had been looking forward to the sun blessing. I was upset; I had been looking forward to the sun blessing. Then I had an idea, if I couldn’t see the sun where I was, and I couldn’t be where the sun was, maybe I could see the sun where the sun was where I was. We called my brother-in-law in Kansas City, was the sun shining there? It was! We connected with Skype, an internet based phone service that allows live conversations with real time images to be transmitted to your computer, he pointed his web cam at the sun and presto, there was the sun, shining in Kansas City and in our office simultaneously.
Now I am not sure that this fit all the halachic requirements, but we could see the sun just as if we were looking at it through a window, it’s just that the other side of the glass was 2000 miles away.

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