[TOM] GJELTEN: Even in faith traditions that now fully accept the science, a solar eclipse remains an occasion that highlights the wonders of the universe and our small place in it. In a book and on his website Talmudology, Jeremy Brown has written about Jewish understandings of solar eclipses.
[JEREMY] BROWN: Today, an eclipse is no longer seen as a threat, as an omen but as something to be celebrated. There is a consensus of opinion amongst the rabbis that an eclipse should be witnessed with joy and happiness and appropriate psalms and blessings.
GJELTEN: Brown and his family are heading to Charleston, S.C., for an eclipse-viewing event at a synagogue. But a total solar eclipse is momentous to everyone. The National Convention of American Atheists will also be in Charleston, hosting a viewing of their own.