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What is "Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem"?

by Rabbi Zalman Abraham

  

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"He causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall"

Before the start of the silent Musaf Amidah on Shmini Atzeret, the beadle bangs on a table and announces to the congregation that they will begin reciting "Mashiv Haruach Umorid Hageshem". This mention of rain in the 2nd blessing of the Amidah prayer is not meant as a formal request for rain, only as recognition that the source of rain is from G-d. This insertion is made during the rain season in Israel, between Shmini Atzeret (when T'fillat Geshem is recited) and Pesach (when T'fillat Tal is recited).

See also What is the "Geshem" Prayer?


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Mitzvot » Prayer » About
Mitzvot » Prayer » Laws and Customs

Amidah
Highlight of every prayer, recited silently while standing. Weekday Amidah consists of nineteen blessings, Sabbath and holiday Amidah contains seven blessings.
Shmini Atzeret
A joyous one-day autumn festival immediately following the holiday of Sukkot. Outside Israel this holiday is celebrated for two days, the second day is known as Simchat Torah.
Musaf
The additional prayer service added (after the morning prayers) on Sabbath, Biblically mandated holidays and the first day of the Jewish month.
Pesach
Passover. A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.