Celebration of water

Delighting in the gifts of the physical world and realizing our vulnerability to the vagaries of nature.

By JEREMY ROSEN
October 31, 2016 17:33
4 minute read.
Art by Pepe Fainberg

Art by Pepe Fainberg. (photo credit: PEPE FAINBERG)

 
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I WAS born in Manchester. We took rain all the year round for granted. I never made the connection between Sukkot and rain until I went as a teenager to study in Jerusalem in 1958. Of course, I knew about the prayer asking for rain on Shemini Atzeret, the Eighth Day of Assembly, but that was after Sukkot.

No one ever went short of water in my rain-sodden English countryside. And whenever I thought of Jerusalem, I envisaged a city in the words of poet William Blake, in “England’s green and pleasant land.” It wasn’t until I actually got there climbing up through the dusty, yellowy- brown ceramic hills, in burning heat to its dry summer streets, the old wells in the courtyards of Mea She’arim, that I realized how crucial water was to Israel, Jerusalem and Sukkot.

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