The Prayer for Rain: Sephardic Tradition

Same concept, different approach

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Following this prayer is the acrostic poem Begishmay orah ("Grant to the earth sunlight and blessing even as rain"). The poem, introduced with "Our God, God of our fathers," has an acrostic only up to and including the letter kaf. The congregation answers Amen after each of the phrases ending with the word adama [earth, land].

The same prayer is recited in Tikkun Hatal, except that Begishmay ("rain") is charged to Betalelav ("dew"). Finally, Ana horidaym le'orah is said, ending with mashiv haru'ah umorid hageshem liveracha in the Oriental-Syrian tradition. In other versions (Spanish and Portuguese) the paragraph begins with Kemo sha'atah hu and concludes with the word chalkalah. The latter is said in the repetition of the Amidah, and the Shali'ach Tzibbur continues with Mechalkayl chayyim.

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Cantor Macy Nulman is co-founder of the Cantorial Council of America and former director of the Philip and Sarah Belz School of Jewish Music at Yeshiva University.?He is the author of numerous books and articles an Jewish liturgy and music education.