Israel Forever Foundation
In many countries one might hear people complaining about rain but in Israel rain is considered a crucial blessing. Rituals designed as a reminder for our need of rain are integral parts of the Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret celebrations. The liturgy on Shemini Atzeret introduces the following phrase to be recited henceforth, until Passover, in the Amidah prayer– masheev ha’rua’ch u’moreed hagashem, “Who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.”
There are six parts of the prayer for rain, each of which refers to events involving water in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and the Twelve Tribes.
Our God and God of our ancestors:
Remember Abraham who flowed to You like water.
You blessed him like a tree planted by streams of water.
You rescued him from fire and water.
He passed Your test by planting good deeds by every source of water.
For Abraham’s sake, do not keep back water.
Remember Isaac, whose birth was foretold when Abraham offered the angels a little water.
You asked his father to spill his blood like water.
In the desert Isaac dug and found wells of water.
For Isaac’s sake, do not keep back water.
Remember Jacob, who crossed the Jordan’s water.
He bravely rolled the stone off the mouth of the well of water.
He wrestled with an angel made of fire and water,
And therefore You promised to be with him through fire and water.
For Jacob’s sake do not keep back water.
Remember Moses, who was drawn in a reed basket out of the Nile’s water.
Who helped Jethro’s daughters: He drew water and gave the sheep water.
He struck the rock and out came water.
For Moses’ sake do not hold back water!
Remember Aaron, the High Priest, who, on Yom Kippur, washed himself five times with water,
He prayed and was sprinkled with purifying water,
He kept apart from a people who were as unstable as water.
For Aaron’s sake do not hold back water.
Remember the Twelve Tribes whom
You brought through the divided waters;
For whom You sweetened bitter water;
Their descendants’ blood was spilled like water.
Turn to us, God, who are surrounded by troubles like water.
For the Jewish people’s sake, do not hold back water.
You are Adonai, our God
Who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
For blessing and not for curse. Amen.
For life and not for death. Amen.
For plenty and not for lack. Amen.
May the land of Israel be granted blessed rain!
The soundtrack for this video comes from the album “In Pursuit of Dreams”, honoring Israel’s 70 years of statehood. Original music composed by Edward Zeltser, and arranged by Dmitry Gershenzon.