Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

9 Kislev 5761 - December 6, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Sequel: Hashem Answered the Prayers for Rain
by A. Yitzchaki

Last week, our front page included an article about the urgent need for rain and asking that the community pray for rain. The article described one rov who had, with great mesiras nefesh, convinced the farmers on his settlement in the center of Israel to observe shmitta kehilchoso.

The rov said that in the fields of the shmitta observers on his settlement the seeds planted prior to the shmitta year (in accordance with halachic guidelines) had begun to sprout, while the fields of the non- shmitta observers who hadn't planted prior to shmitta, but were waiting (as is the usual practice) for the rainy season to begin so that they could plant, were still brown. Both types of farmers, the rov explained, were praying for rain.

In addition to the distress of the country's shmitta observing farmers over the lack of rains, the issue of kiddush sheim Shomayim was clearly at stake. The early rains which fell right after Succos were indeed rains of blessing for the shmitta observing farmers, causing the seeds they had sown before the start of the year to bloom and grow. However in order for the blessing to continue, additional rains were needed within a few days. Otherwise all of the efforts of the farmers would be lost, and the crops, which had begun to sprout, might be damaged irrevocably , cholila, causing a heavy loss of all the resources invested.

Our readers are surely wondering what happened, especially in light of the fact that prayer rallies were held all over the country last Monday (erev rosh chodesh Kislev--Yom Kippur Koton) in light of the situation all over Eretz Yisroel.

The rov of the yishuv went around to gedolei Yisroel, telling them of the delicate position of the shmitta observing farmers on his yishuv and asking them to beseech the Borei Olom to shower rain both for the farmers and for the kiddush sheim Shomayim involved. On the day of prayer as well, the members of the abovementioned settlement gathered in its synagogue and prayed both for the welfare of the klal, and for the urgently needed rains. Last Wednesday (2 Kislev), a light rain fell, mainly in the south and hardly at all in the country's center where that settlement is located. The fields remained dry.

On the next day, Thursday, the weatherman reported that the rain was over and that from the afternoon, the temperatures would gradually rise. (Rain is always accompanied by lower temperatures in Israel.) The skies cleared and it seemed as if the terrible forecast was coming true.

But then, on Thursday evening, Shomayim opened, and strong rains fell on the fields for many hours. On Friday morning, the farmers of that settlement could finally smile and lift their voices in gratitude to the Borei Olom for the rains of brocho which saved their crops which had been sowed in conformance with the restrictions of shmitta.


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