Chief Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau have ruled that the so far dry winter in the country matches the halachic definition of "drought," which obligates public to say special prayers against the lack of rain.
After meeting last week with the head of the Knesset's Agricultural Lobby, Knesset Member Zvulun Kalfa (Habayit Hayehudi),
the rabbis declared that the public must read Psalms and add specific segments to the regular prayers.
In a manifesto distributed to Israel's rabbis, Yosef and Lau wrote: "Due to the drought, as unfortunately we are not being blessed this year with timely rain, we are asking our country's residents to add a rain prayer to their prayers…
And we hope that the prayer of the high priest on Yom Kippur, asking for a year blessed with rain, will be answered."
On Thursday, the eighth day of the holiday of Hanukkah,
the chief rabbis plan to participate in a mass prayer at the Western Wall following the lack of rain.