Israeli farmers perform rain ritual
December 22, 2008
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israeli farmers re-created a ritual described by a 16th century Jewish scholar in the hopes of bringing rain.
The farmers from the Upper Galilee, led by Rabbi Eliyahu Biton, on Sunday encircled the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai located on Mount Meron while shaking the Four Species that are traditionally used on Sukkot, the daily Ha'aretz reported.
Yosef Karo, a 16th century religious scholar, composed the special prayer for rain. According to Karo's book "Maggid Mesharim," much rain fell after Karo and his students completed the ritual.
Israel is experiencing an exceptionally dry winter this year, with rainfall in most areas at about 40 percent of normal.