Israel’s chief rabbis are calling on the public to pray for rain, and declared this Thursday a special day of fasting and prayer to atone for the sins that are likely preventing the direly missing rainfall.

“The summer is gone as is most of the winter, and we are yet to be redeemed by the downfall of rains of blessing, and the state of the waters in the Land of Israel is under duress and great distress, especially since this is not the first year of drought, and the land is dry due to our many sins, and this is a troubling matter,” Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger and Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar wrote in a letter sent out last Thursday.

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“It is our duty to seek and delve into our deeds, and come close to God with all our hearts, and set forth our pleas with a broken and despondent heart,” the rabbis wrote.

The rabbis set out the protocol for the upcoming day of fasting, for those who can take it upon themselves, including the order of prayers, and encouraged people to fast as much as they could.

Metzger and Amar also issued the text for a special prayer to be recited every time Torah scrolls are taken from the ark, while it’s open: “With one heart, as one person, and [the prayers] shall rise to the will of our Father in the Sky, who will gush out His blessings upon us, with grace, benevolence and mercy.”

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