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Prayers for Rain in the Kinneret and at the Western Wall

Rabbis to pray for rain from the heart of the Kinneret; second fast day declared as a five-year drought leaves Israel parched..
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/23/2010, 10:46 PM / Last Update: 11/24/2010, 8:14 AM

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With no rain clouds on the horizon, rabbis from the Jordan Valley region are planning a mass prayer rally for rain in the heart of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Israel's largest single water reservoir. More than 100 people will set off Wednesday from Kibbutz Ein Gev, near the Kinneret, for the special prayer session.

Worshippers will take part in afternoon prayers (Mincha) at the synagogue at Ein Gev, and at 4 p.m. will set sail on the Kinneret, where they will pray again, this time with a specific plea for rain. Upon their return, they plan to take part in the evening prayer service and then complete the study of the Talmudic book Ta'anit, which deals with the laws of fasting.

Among those who plan to take part are Rabbi Shlomo Didi, the Chief Rabbi of the Jordan Valley region, and Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook, Chief Rabbi of Rechovot.

In addition, a second fast day has been announced. Many Jews fasted last Thursday and prayed for rain; as rain has yet to come, another dawn-to-dusk fast will be held Monday.

Israel's chief rabbis are calling on those who can fast for the full day to do so, and for those who cannot fast a full day to attempt to fast until midday.

A special prayer session will be held at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Western Wall (Kotel) asking for rain. The general public is asked to join in by praying for rain on Monday afternoon, whether or not they are at the Kotel.