A remarkably unseasonal downpour drenched parts of Israel, leading many Jews to turn their eyes to heaven in search of understanding: was this a blessing or perhaps the opposite. As Joshua Wander watched the rain fall on the Temple Mount, the conclusion he came to was decidedly uncomfortable.
Israel is an arid country with about 70 percent of the average rain falling between November and March. June through August are often rainless. This is reflected in the daily prayers in which the prayer for rain is inserted at the end of the autumnal holiday of Sukkoth and continues until the spring holiday of Passover. This has its roots in the agricultural basis of the religion and unseasonal rain can damage crops.