Rain of Blessing
Marc Twain once observed “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one can do anything about it.”


The Jewish Religion is not in agreement with the above quote. In Masechet Taanit we learn that all that befalls human beings, including natural phenomena, has a source in heaven. God generates events based upon man’s actions.


On Shmini Atzeret we began to say “Mashiv HaRuach U’Morid HaGashem”, “He makes the wind blow and the rain descend” in the Shemoneh Esrei. This statement shows God’s power and control over the rain. It is only said after Sukkot has been completed as we don’t want to take a chance of having rain fall when we are trying to observe the mitzvah of eating in the Sukkah.


In Israel, we rarely have any rain until after Sukkot and we don’t have to worry about the rain ruining the Sukkot holiday.


Last night, the seventh of Cheshvan IN ISRAEL was the date that we began to say “Viten Tal U’Matar Livrach”, “and give dew and rain for a blessing.” Rather than just mentioning God’s powers, we are actually asking for it to rain. The reason for the delay (why we only mention the power of rain but don’t actually request rain immediately after Sukkot) is brought up in the Gemara in Taanit. The Halacha took into account that everyone came to Jerusalem for the holiday of Sukkot and it is only fair to wait until everyone is back home before asking for rain so that the pilgrims don’t get wet while traveling back home.


Last night, we began to request rain and like clockwork, there were heavy thunderstorms throughout the night in Jerusalem. These were true rains of blessing as they fell in the proper time (between Sukkot and Pesach) and they fell at night when most people were home sleeping so we didn’t even have the inconvenience of getting wet!


May we see many more rainfalls of blessing in the Land of Israel from now until Pesach!