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Beit Midrash Jewish Laws and Thoughts Mentioning Rain

Why Do Israel & the Diaspora Ask for Rain at Different Times?

Rabbi Stewart WeissTishrei 27 5781
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Question: Why do israel & the diaspora ask for rain at different times?

Answer: On Shmini Azeret/Simchat Torah at Musaf, we (in Israel) began to ask for rain with the prayer Mashiv HaRuach U'Morid haGashem. On 7 Cheshvan, we insert an additional petition for rain - V'tayn tal u'matar - into the bracha of "Barech Aleynu" in the Amida. It is in this paragraph that we ask for Hashem's sustenance, which is linked to rain, which is needed at this time in Israel. Shmuel the Sage established the Diaspora petition to begin on the 60th day after the autumnal equinox (when rain was needed in Babylonia), a solar figure which falls either Dec. 4 or 5. This remains the Diaspora date. One who forgets this petition must say the Amida over again. If in doubt whether he said it or not, one must repeat the Amida, unless he has said the phrase for 30 days (or repeated it 90 times!) to habituate himself to saying it.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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