The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has issued an appeal to the public, asking worshipers to pray for rain.
“Due to the lack of rain which we have sadly not merited this year [in a sufficient amount] we are turning to the general public and asking them to add the special prayer for rain to their prayers,” the appeal said.
Israel’s leading rabbis issue an appeal to the public to include a special prayer for rain in the daily services when the winter rains are scant, and drought looms on the horizon.
Such appeals were issued in December 2013 and again in December 2017 as well. On both occasions, thousands of Jews gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to recite the prayer for rain.
“The beginning of the month of Kislev (third month in the Hebrew calendar) has passed, and the land of Israel has yet to be blessed with rain,” Chief Rabbi David Lau wrote at the time. “Therefore, I call on the public to first of all to be exceedingly kind to one another, as well as add the prayer that is said when the rain stops.”
The Chief Rabbi subsequently called on the public in the final days of January 2018 to cease the prayers for rain, inasmuch as “Praise G-d, we were privileged and the heavens opened up.”
At present, the water level in Lake Kinneret, which serves as the country’s main reservoir, stands only at 210.54 meters – 1.74 meters below the upper red line (at which the Degania Dam is opened), and 2.46 meters above the bottom red line, (213 meters below sea level), according to Israel’s Water Authority.
Ecology experts have determined that when the level of the lake falls below the lower red line, there is damage to the ecological balance and the water quality begins to decline.
Once the water level reaches the lower red line, it is prohibited to pump or use water from the lake.