By: Rabbi Kari Tuling
Why do we wear sunscreen? The answer has something to with our blessing today. Today’s blessing is pokeah ivrim: “opens up the blind.” Notice that it does not say “opens the eyes of the blind.” That tells us that this blessing is not about a physical disability. In fact, an interesting thing about blindness is that we are all blind to certain kinds of light, even those of us with good eyesight. The light that we see is only a small fraction of the total spectrum of light. God “opens up the blind” by giving us the ability to use our minds to figure out that the spectrum of light is greater than what we are able to see. Our eyes are blind to ultraviolet light but we still can “see” it by building instruments that can measure it. So we wear sunscreen because we know about UVA and UVB light even though we are in fact blind to it. Blessed are You who opens the blind to seeing more that what can be sensed directly.