Taanis 1:7-2:1

Taanis 1:7

If these 13 public fasts passed and it still hasn't rained, we decrease our business transactions, our construction projects and planting, engagements, weddings and greetings, like people who have been rebuked. Private individuals resume fasting until the end of the month of Nisan. If Nisan passes and then rain falls, it is considered as a curse because I Samuel 12:17 says, "Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call out to God and He will send thunder and rain." (The context of that verse is that rain at that time is a bad thing.)

Taanis 2:1

The order of prayers on these fasts is as follows: We take the ark to the town square and put ashes on the ark and on the heads of the Nasi and the Av Beis Din (the heads of the court). Everyone puts ashes on their heads. The eldest of them addresses them movingly, saying "My brothers, regarding the people of Nineveh it doesn't say that God considered their sackcloth and their fasting. Rather, it says that 'God saw their deeds, that they had turned from their evil ways' (Jonah 3:10). Our tradition is likewise 'Tear your hearts rather than your garments' (Joel 2:13)."
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