Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Have you noticed that it is already the middle of Kislev and the blessed rains have not yet come? Rabbi Itamar Haikin wrote about this as follows:
"Drought distresses me deeply in my heart. It is a feeling that something about us is not what it should be. Perhaps this is part of the ancient heritage bequeathed to us from our forefathers. Or maybe it's about my childhood, which was spent in an agricultural setting. Whatever the case may be, closed up skies are interpreted by me as a kind of mirror of what is happening here on earth. A blessing from heaven is a testimonial to a blessed reality on earth. When the heavens are blocked, it's a sign of blockage in the relationships between people here below. (And yes, I know that there are also climatological and ecological explanations as well.)
We do not need to search too hard to find what it is that we must fix and improve when it comes to relating to one another. The social media networks bring reality to our doorstep in a socially damaging and distancing way. When we turn to the Master of the universe and entreat HIm to "act with mercy upon Your children," it is a request obligating us to behave as children with a common father. In other words, if we behave as brothers do, then He will act toward us as a benevolent father. But as long as we do not act with each other as brothers, but brutalize and alienate one another, how can we turn toward him as our father?
When the skies stop giving rain, it is customary to add to the Shema Yisrael prayer the following words in order to arouse heavenly mercy:
Answer us Creator of the universe with mercy, and choose Your people Israel, that we may proclaim Your greatness and Your glory. Hear our prayer, provide dew and rain for blessing upon the earth, and satiate the entire world from your goodness and fill our hands from Your blessings and from the abundance of Your hands. Protect and spare this year from every bad thing, from every kind of destruction and misfortune, and make it a year of hope that ends in peace. Spare us and have mercy upon us and upon all the produce and fruits of this year, and bless this year with favorable rains, with blessing and abundance and life and satiety and peace, as in the good years. And remove from it all pestilence, desolation, and hunger, and wild beasts and imprisonment and looting, and remove our evil inclination and bad, difficult illnesses, and bad, difficult occurrences. And decree good decrees upon us before You, and may Your mercy prevail and may You act mercifully with Your children, and desire to receive our prayer with compassion.