I was just outside and everything was that yellow tone of a setting sun or Oklahoma day just before a tornado when it happened– the first rain drops of the season. It rained for just a few glorious minutes, but it was the unmistakable beginning of the rainy season. Right on time.

In the daily prayers we switch over from praying for dew to praying for rain at the end of succot. When we don’t get rain too long after that, the country starts instituting national fast days.

Winter here, the rainy season, is like Israel’s spring. It’s winter when everything gets green and begins to bloom. It fills the Kinneret and keeps the country alive. This is why rain is so important, it is refreshing and fun, you can check out some custom umbrellas so you can go out in your brand new outfit and enjoy walking down the street with a colourful umbrella that matches your style.

Whereas in America, rain is treated with a degree of contempt, having long been associated with game’s called and nasty mud puddles that splash you from the street, here rain is literally a godsend. Hebrew even has a specific word for first rain– yore (your-ay).

It made me so happy. One of the things I miss so much about America is warm summer rain. Now its just the first few rains of the season, before Jerusalem gets that distinctive chill in the air that gives me that fix.

Here’s to a wet and rainy winter!

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Laya Millman

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