That means that it should fall in the correct season, the correct amount, at the right pace and even the right day and hour.
Judaism is a land based agricultural religion. As I've written many times, the Jewish Calendar is a lunar one with adjustments that keep the holidays falling in the correct seasons by adding a month every few years in an amazingly accurate system developed a couple of thousand years ago.
|Winter skies are so beautiful, varied and ever-changing.|
At the end of the winter, we pray to Gd to cease the rains, and then half a year later, we pray for them to resume. But the prayer for rain is in two parts. We ask for rain "soon," not immediately. The pilgrims who had come to pray together first need to get home safely. So, about two weeks after the end of the Succot-Simchat Torah Holiday Season we ask for rain to really fall.
No doubt there's a dangerous phenomena that not only happens here in Israel during the first rain after a long dry period. The suddenly wet oil and dust that have been building up on the roads make traveling dangerous. It's usually a time when there are many traffic accidents. So many people fear that first rain, because sometimes it's a curse instead of a blessing.
This year, we added the second part of the prayer requesting rain at the end of last week, and then late Friday night, on Shabbat, when most of us were sound asleep, with a clap of loud thunder, the rain began to fall hard. In terms of safety, that is the very best time of the week for a "first rain."
Gd willing may this year's rain be a blessing not a curse. May we have enough rain, at the right times, and my Gd forgive all of our sins.
|This morning, it rained a bit. Winter is beginning for real.|