The third chapter of Masekhet Ta’anit (Seder Ta’aniyot ‘Eilu) prescribes a religious response to the lack of rainfall in the Land of Israel. This year, despite some heavy precipitation, there remains a significant deficit in rainfall which can result, chas ve-shalom, in irreparable damage to the Sea of Galilee and underground aquifers, harm to economies dependent on the Kinneret, and other significant damage. The Chief Rabbinate has called on Israelis to include the special prayer of Ve-‘anneinu Borei ‘Olam to their daily Shemoneh ‘Esrei. We in the Diaspora may not and cannot remain indifferent and passively silent.
The RCA and OU join together in urging you and your congregations to include Ve-‘anneinu in your daily prayers. Rav Hershel Schachter supports this request and suggests, in an attempt to minimize the burden on the community, that this paragraph be added only by the shali’ach tzibbur in his repetition during the berakhah of Shomei’a Tefillah. We urge you to add prayer to your other initiatives– political, philanthropic, communal, educational, and personal– on behalf of the Land and State of Israel. In addition, we urge your communities to bear in mind all of those places which are endangered due to drought.
The paragraph can be found in the Koren Sacks siddur on page 137, or below.
Rabbi Elazar Muskin, President, RCA
Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, RCA
Moishe Bane, President, OU
Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President, OU