A Prayer for Rain

Storms are returning to the Holy Land.

Last year, winter came early here, and it caught me off guard. Suddenly the kibbutz, once so blue and green, was awash with mud, brown mud.

And, at night, when the lightning would spark and the thunder would crash, it rattled our little old kibbutz apartment, and it scared me.

It was hard to distinguish the thunder’s echoes from the blasts from Syria in the background, or closer even.

But today, as I look out at the beautiful, storming gray, moments before the sky will open, I pray, “Shekhina, wash us clean.”

Now, my heart craves the crashing thunder, the sky alight with fire. At least then, the world would resemble the chaos we’ve created down here; we bickering children.

Is it possible that life too must cycle like the seasons, through calm days and storms? Is our blood lust so strong that it demands release, red rivers flowing to restore some twisted order?

If not, then why?

Why can’t we help ourselves?

I write from the Holy Land where everything in the world that is felt is felt here most. We are the pulse at the center. The heart that beats; The heart that breaks.

Here, we feel the turbulence terribly, as the world swirls and rattles. And swirl and rattle it does. Rape, murder, kidnappings, torture. Dear God, what are we doing?

So, let the skies swirl instead of us.
Let the rains fall and lock us in our homes, clutching blankets and one another. Let them bring rest, then calm, then peace.

Let the slashing in the skies suffice, so that we might lay down our swords, humbled and satiated, such that the rainbow might follow the rain.

About the Author
Rabbi Sara Brandes is the author of Magical World: Stories, Reflections, Poems Rabbi-in-Residence at Camp Alonim of the American Jewish University and a member of Kibbutz Hannaton in the Lower Galili of Israel.
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