An Amida during the rainy season
without any reference to G-d’s role in making the weather is considered
fatally flawed, and must be said over. Specifically, if one omits MASHIV
HARU’ACH UMORID HAGASHEM (hereafter MHUH) from the second bracha of the
Amida, AND does not say MORID HATAL either, the Amida must be repeated. In
Israel (and in many
And what if you remember within the second bracha? There are two different opinions. One opinion is that as soon as one realizes the omission (remember, within the second bracha), he goes back to ATA GIBOR and tries again. Some say that it is only necessary to back to MHUH, the ATA GIBOR part was said and untainted by the omission.
The other opinion is that one says MHUH wherever the omission was realilzed, without going back to the beginning of the bracha. But one should say MHUH between phrases, not within one. For example, one can say SOMEICH NOFLIM, MHUH, V’ROFEI CHOLIM, but should say SOMEICH MHUH NOFLIM. The text of the second bracha of the Amida is printed in the box at the upper-right of this page with each phrase on its own line, to help understand and apply this ruling.
Furthermore, the last phrase before the ending of the bracha - V’NE-EMAN... must precede the ending, without MHUH interceding. So if one has already said the V’NE-EMAN phrase and then realizes he forgot MHUH, he says MHUH, then repeats V’NE-EMAN... and then concludes with BARUCH...
That’s the fine tuning. The point of it
all,is that davening is serious and real and so is rainfall. And we have
the power of prayer and should use it properly.
This request, known to Ashkenazim as TAL UMATAR, involves the addition of two words - TAL UMATAR and the prefix of a LAMED to the word BRACHA (with the drop of the dot in the BET) to become LIVRACHA. Two words and a letter. S’FARADIM call the issue BAREICH ALEINU, which is the winter bracha that replaces BA-R’CHEINU. In both cases, we are talking about a change in the 6th of the 13 middle brachot of request of the weekday Amida.
In Eretz Yisrael, the request for rain
begins at Maariv on the eve of the 7th of Cheshvan. (This year, that’s
Motza’ei Shabbat Parshat No’ach, November 1st.) In Chutz LaAretz, asking
for rain begins on December 5th or 6th (depending upon the number of days
If you are still in BIRKAT HASHANIM (Barech
Aleinu), then stop, say V’TEIN TAL UMATAR LIVRACHA (hearafter called T&M)
and continue from there.
If you started KI ATA SHOMEI’A but have not yet said G-d’s name in the end of the bracha, then stop, say T&M, and repeat from KI ATA SHOMEI’A...
If you already said G-d’s name at the end of SH’MA KOLEINU, then finish the bracha and immediately say T&M as an add-on (so to speak, as opposed to the preferable add-in) to SH’MA KOLEINU.
Once the word R’TZEI is said,or even just the R’ of R’TZEI, you must stop where you are, go back to BAREICH ALEINU (not just to SH’MA KOLEINU) and say the Amida from there all the way to the end. This rule applies if the omission of T&M is realized anytime until one completes the pasuk YIHYU L’RATZON...
Although many of the details above are geared to avoiding or minimizing wasted brachot, if one finished the Amida without T&M, the entire 19 brachot of the weekday Amida must be repeated. Avoiding BRACHA L’VATALA is a high concern, but asking G-d for T&M during the rainy season is paramount.
The fine details of Halacha are
important, but one mustn’t lose sight of the concepts that produce those
details. As mentioned earlier, prayer is real, it is serious, it is
powerful. And so is rain. Scoffers and cynics will say: “Does it really
matter if my Amida was two words short?” And the answer is, YES.