Israelis should continue to pray for seasonal rain despite the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza, Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi has ruled.
Rabbi David Lau was responding to a query from religious soldiers asking whether it was appropriate to pray for rain if it might disrupt a future ground incursion into the Hamas-ruled coastal strip.
In his response, the rabbi cited the extended nature of the war, as well as the fact that the prayer is for rainfall to be a blessing as reasons for continuing to pray for precipitation.
Observant Jews pray for rain from the fall until the spring.
Israel is experiencing an unseasonably warm autumn week with no rain in the 10-day forecast.
Israel’s Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which represents the relatives of those taken captive by Hamas on Oct. 7, has called on Jews around the world to join its “Global Day of Unity and Prayer” for the return of all hostages and missing persons on Wednesday.
Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 5,000 in a massive offensive launched from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.
At least 222 people were taken to Gaza as hostages, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
On Oct. 19, a first prayer session was held at the Western Wall for the safe return of hostages held in Gaza and for the success of the Israeli security forces in the war against Hamas.
Avichai Brodtz, whose wife and three children were abducted and taken to Gaza, and Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, participated in the event, which included the recitation of Tehillim (“Psalms”) and prayers for the IDF’s welfare.