Chief Rabbinate Calls for Rain Taanis Today


israel-farmerOnce again, winter is late in coming to Israel; it barely rained in November, which is supposed to be a month with substantial rainfall. The month of Kislev is more than a third over. Under those circumstances, the time has come for extra tefillos, and even fasting, in order to implore Heaven to provide Israel with much needed rain.

To that end, the Chief Rabbinate has called on shuls to insert special tefillos for rain in Shemonah Esrei and tefillos for rain when the aron kodesh is opened to take out the Torah. And, the Rabbinate has declared today a day of fasting, tefillah and teshuvah, asking Hakadosh Boruch Hu for rain.

According to farmers in northern Israel, rains have been very late for the past seven years – and, in addition, winters have been warmer. Both developments, the farmers said, were not good for agriculture; fruit hasn’t grown properly, and what does grow is far smaller and less developed than it should be. Desalinated water is still not available in quantities needed to sustain the full growth of fruits and other crops in the north, and as a result, consumers could expect a significant rise in the price of fruits and vegetables in the coming weeks, unless rain begins to descend in copious quantities.

According to the Rabbinate’s declaration, shuls where at least 10 males are fasting should conduct a public krias haTorah during Minchah.

{Read more at Arutz Shevah/Yair Israel}