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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
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Still Desperately Awaiting Rain

So far, most of this winter, which began a month and a half ago, has been with clear blue skies like in the picture I took last week.

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I don’t know if these clouds to the southwest of us are a sign that it will rain.  Generally, dark clouds to the west are a good reliable sign of rain to come. It’s also very windy, which frequently means that the weather will change.

You can see the wind in the picture above.

I hung out clothes this morning for a few reasons.  One is that we need clean clothes; the hampers are full. There’s another wash in the machine as I type this.  So far, no rain today, so there’s a chance the wash will dry.  But the most important, and probably the most peculiar reason, is that maybe this laundry will in a Murphy sort of way bring on the rain.

“If anything can go wrong, it will.”

God forbid you should think that I consider rain as something going “wrong,” but we did have a rainy winter the year I refused to carry an umbrella.

So far, most of this winter, which began a month and a half ago, has been with clear blue skies like in the picture I took last week.

Just to remind all of you who pray, we need those prayers for rain here in the HolyLand. According to Jewish Law, the text of the Amida, 18 Blessing Prayer, said three times a day includes a request for rain. One of the most sacrilegious questions to rabbis is the one from people who don’t live in the HolyLand and want to know why they have to pray for rain when rain in their neighborhood isn’t in their best interests.  That question shows a total lack of understanding of the basic principles of Judaism.  It ignores the total centrality of the Land of Israel in the Jewish Religion.

The theme, narrative of the first part of the Bible, the Torah, the Five Books of Moses relate the beginnings of the Jewish People and G-d’s commandments to us.  We are told in Bereishit, Genesis, Genesis 12,1-17,27 that we, starting with Abraham, his family and followers,  are supposed to go to the Land God will show us.

Now the LORD said unto Abram: ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.

That land isn’t California, New Zealand or Britain.  All Jews, no matter where they live, no matter what level of mitzvah  observance, are required to recognize the centrality of the Land of Israel to Judaism and the Jewish People.

G-d gives us the rain as a gift, also quantity and timing as reward and punishment for our collective merit or guilt as a People.  That means that it’s not enough just to pray, we must, as individuals and a people, repent, do teshuva.  God willing we will deserve the blessings, and it will rain in the right time and quantity.

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About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


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