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...
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