MembersCharity and Prayer Against Drought

Israel Chief Rabbi David Lau has called on the people to practice greater charity and to be kinder to one another.

By Israel Today Staff |
Photo: Gershon Elison/Flash90

His reasoning may be difficult for outsiders to understand, but the rabbi is trying to prevent the onset of a new drought. Lau and others are concerned that this winter has thus far seen very little rain, and Israel’s natural reservoirs remain dangerously low.

“In the days of Rabbi Tanhuma, fasting was proclaimed in the Land of Israel, as there was no rainfall. He entered the congregation and said to them, ‘My children, you must have mercy on one another, and then the Almighty will have mercy on you,’” wrote Rabbi Lau citing Bereshit Rabbah, chapter 33). Rabbi Lau further instructed Sephardic Jews to recite the “El Chai Yiftach” prayer on Shabbat while opening the aron kodesh, the holy ark where Torah scrolls are housed. Ashkenazi Jews were told to recite the Amidah, the central prayer of Jewish liturgy, and then read aloud Psalm 130.

Following is a partial translation of the special prayer against drought that is said today...

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