Time to Pray for Rain


California’s environment is quite similar to Israel’s. Both do not receive summer rain and rely on winter for all our precipitation. So it is that with the end of Sukkot and the arrival of Shemini Atzeret (or Simchat Torah, for non-traditional Jews) a prayer for rain is introduced to the daily liturgy. The prayer itself is quite old and resonates with the magical thinking and formulaic incantations of ancient agrarian cultures. So the prayer as written may or may not speak to you. However, if you are living in California where we are experiencing a prolonged and dangerous drought, some sort of prayer for rain feels natural.

Beginning at this time of year I love to go out into my parched garden and pray for rain. I stand among the dying zinnias and cosmos and direct my focus to the land and plants that are under my care. Asking for rain fills me with hope and gratitude. I make up my own prayer. I certainly hope that it will be a case of: from my lips to God’s ears! Throw your lot in with mine and try asking for some rain.