soldiers woke up to an unusual directive from the head of the Halacha branch, Lieutenant Colonel Malachi Rabad, on Tuesday. The message urged soldiers to pray for rain.
Soldiers who saw the notice posted outside the military synagogue on Wednesday confirmed to Ynet that they indeed prayed for rain inside.
The Rabbinate has not stepped forth to claim credit for Thursday morning's wintry weather.
Thursday morning rain in Jerusalem (Photo: Yair Simhi)
Despite consensus among meteorologists, who had previously claimed stormy weather was expected by week's end, Lieutenant Colonel Rabad sent the message to hundreds of Military Rabbinate
representatives strewn across the many IDF branches and units, asking soldiers perform the prayer in either the Sephardi or Ashkenazi variation.
According to Rabad, his request was based on the repeated calls by Israel's
first chief rabbis to pray for liquid relief from the sky.
A senior official in the Military Rabbinate
explained that even though this was an unusual request to make of IDF soldiers, the response rate was impressive both from military rabbis
and from the soldiers they serve.
The official chose not to comment on the fact that the upcoming rains were forecast nearly a week ago, focusing instead on the multitudes who flock to prayer services.
"There will be those who respond with cynicism, but many soldiers did not ignore the request and understood its importance for benefit for the country they live in," he said. "This is not a matter of superstitions or compulsion: He who didn't want to pray, didn't have to pray."
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