Our prayers for water and rain are usually treated as playful, and of course they can be. But what we are praying for is actually climate stability, for predictable and sustaining amounts of rain, something our world needs so much and will be in need of more and more as the next decades unfold. So remember that we are praying for something very real, desperately real. For an end to drought and flood, for an end to the conditions that turn wildfires into “giga-fires”. For an end to climate instability that foments wars and drives refugees from their homes.
We offer seventy sacrifices over Sukkot because we are praying for the seventy nations, say Chazal (the rabbis). That is, we are praying for the whole world.
If you want a liturgy that speaks to the changes happening to our planet, check out these Hoshanot for the Planet. The first Hoshana includes this plea: “Save our prayers from being empty words!”
May it be so, and may the best intentions of our prayers become true,