Thursday, April 12, 2012

Prayer and Drought

Please pardon the editing. I'm doing this from my iPad and can't figure out some of the formatting commands. In his weekly Ten Minutes of Torah on liturgy, my teacher Rabbi Richard Sarason, wrote about the changes that occur in the G'vurot prayer each summer and winter. () Below is part of what I wrote Him in response. _____________________________ The move to Albuquerque has been a wonderful move for us. Michele is retired after 33 years with the federal government and the congregation has warmly welcomed us. the only down side has been getting used to all the sunshine after 11 years in Buffalo.  I read your Ten Minutes of Torah this morning with great interest. When I got to Albuquerque late last June all people wanted to Talk about was the drought and how it had not rained since the previous October. So as we were approaching the G'vurot I turned to the Cantor and whispered "Let's do Tal AND Geshem". We took a non-traditional pause after Avot/Imahot where I briefly explained what we were going to do as well as what I could remember of the Talmudic practices for ending a drought. I explained we were going to read both phrases, Tal to maintain out connection to Israel and Geshem because even though I didn't think our prayer would actually bring rain, we needed to remember the lack of rain and the importance of water conservation. While I can't say it rained that week, I did find some drops of dusty water on my car a few days later July begins the "monsoon" season in New Mexico.  The congregation loved it and we continued the practice through the summer and started doing both again with the arrival of Pesach.  Chag Samei'ach -Happy Passover to All

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