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;
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 inJerusalem,
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 boundary around homes and communities made of wires tied to poles that allow carrying of items on the Jewish Sabbath.