Rain: A Prize-Winning Poem

Mazal tov! Mazal tov!

AACI staffer Miriam Green, our counselor in the South Chapter (Beer Sheva),  just won a prize at JewishStoryWriting.com for her lovely poem, “Rain.” This is an evocative picture of an important aspect of life in Israel — our dependence on the  winter rains to supply us with water for the year.

We are pleased to share Miriam’s poem with you.

RAIN

by Miriam Green

No, it doesn’t rain here
in the summer, I tell the tourist.
 
She is dazzled, expectant
on her first visit to the land,
 
her carefree American eyes
unconnected to God.
 
I want to explain how the year is split
between Succot and Passover;
 
how after a dry, hot season,
our prayers change in the autumn
 
supplicating He who makes the wind blow and the rains fall,
mashiv haruach u’morid hageshem;
 
how if it rains before then, it’s as if God, the master,
throws a glass of wine in the face of his servant;
 
how the land needs our prayers to survive;
 
how our toilets have two flush buttons
to minimize water use for small loads;
 
how, between lathering and rinsing,
we shiver under the shower with the water off;
 

shower like a soldier from http://www.eco-novice.com/2012/03/world-water-day-2012.html
photo courtesy Davey C while in Iraq

how the rain descends without warning,
drenching our hair, clothes, shoes;
 
how rare black irises bloom on the sand dunes near Netanya,
and flash floods form in the wadis;
 
how there are winter days where all you wear is a t-shirt;
 
how, sometimes, it snows in Jerusalem,
and if the eruv falls, they announce it on television;
 
how we dress in layers
because it’s colder inside the houses than out in the sun;
 
how, when it’s time, our prayers change
in the spring to morid hatal asking for dew.
 
  
NOTE: An eruv is a halachic boundary around homes and communities, often made of wires tied to poles, that allows carrying of items on the Jewish Sabbath.
 
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