Halacha for Thursday 24 Tishrei 5782 September 30 2021

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach
Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim.

We begin reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” in the Mussaf prayer of Simchat Torah (outside of Israel from Shemini Atzeret). This recitation does not constitute a request or plea for rain; rather, it is merely meant as praise to Hashem and is therefore dubbed, “Powers of Rain.” The actual request for dew and rain can be found in the ninth blessing of the Amidah prayer referred to as the “Blessing of the Years” (Barech Aleinu). There are several halachic differences between mentioning the “Powers of Rain” in the second blessing of the Amidah prayer entitled, “Ata Gibor,” and the actual request for dew and rain in the ninth blessing. Firstly, whereas we begin mentioning the “Powers of Rain” from Mussaf of Shemini Atzeret, we do not actually request dew and rain until the night of the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the night of the Fifth of December), as we shall discuss in following Halachot.

Why is “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” Mentioned in the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” Blessing?
The Gemara (Berachot 33a) states that we mention the “Powers of Rain” in the “Ata Gibor” blessing for this blessing deals with the Resurrection of the Dead and since rainfall is tantamount to The Resurrection, our Sages thus established this sentence to be mentioned in the blessing dealing with The Resurrection. Our Sages established the actual request for rain in the “Blessing of the Years,” for this is a blessing regarding one’s livelihood and rainfall is a matter of sustenance for the entire world.

One Who Forgets to Mention “Mashiv Ha’Ruach
If one forgets to recite “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” and becomes aware of his mistake only after concluding the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing, we must analyze whether one must return to the beginning of the Amidah prayer and begin it again or may one continue his prayer as usual. This law indeed depends on one important factor: If one inserted “Morid Ha’Tal” instead of “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” (as is the Sephardic custom during the summer months), one would not return to the beginning of the Amidah prayer since one has said “Morid Ha’Tal.” 

However, if one mentioned neither “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” nor “Morid Ha’Tal” (which is indeed customary among several Ashkenazi communities during the summer months), if one has not yet begun the “Ata Kadosh” blessing, one should recite “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” between the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” and “Ata Kadosh” blessings and then just continue his prayer as usual. If, however, one has already begun the “Ata Kadosh” blessing and only then realizes his mistake, one must begin his Amida prayer anew.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Order for Lighting Shabbat and Chanukah Candles

There is a disagreement among the Rishonim as to the order of lighting Shabbat and Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat Chanukah. The Ba’al Halachot Gedolot (commonly referred to as “Behag”) is of the opinion that Chanukah candles must be lit before Shabbat candles because women cu......

Read Halacha

Lighting the Chanukah Candles

The Mitzvah of Lighting Chanukah Candles There is a Mitzvah to light Chanukah candles throughout all eight nights of Chanukah (beginning from next Sunday night). The Sephardic custom is to light one set of Chanukah candles per house. The Ashkenazi custom, however, is that every member of the househ......

Read Halacha

A Guest On Motza’ei Shabbat Chanukah

Question: If one is staying as a guest at one’s parents’ or in-laws’ home for Shabbat Chanukah, where should one light Chanukah candles on Motza’ei Shabbat? Answer: Regarding a married individual who is staying as a guest at his father’s home, according to the Sephar......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Boarders, Guests, Soldiers, and Yeshiva Students Regarding Chanukah Candles

Question: If one will be away from home as a guest during Chanukah, how should one act regarding lighting Chanukah candles? Similarly, what is the law regarding a soldier who will be at his military base during Chanukah? Answer: If one is away from home during the holiday of Chanukah and stays a......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Married Children Staying with Their Parents and One Staying in a Hotel

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that although one who has no one lighting on his behalf at home (for instance, because he has no family or because his family is with him) and is staying as a guest in a friend’s home on Chanukah should have been obligated to light candles in one&rsqu......

Read Halacha

Washing One’s Hands After Taking a Haircut

Question: Is one obligated to wash one’s hands (Netilat Yadayim) after taking a haircut? Answer: Our Sages list various situations where one must wash one’s hands. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 4) states: “The following activities require one to wash one’s hands: ......

Read Halacha

“Al Ha’Nissim”

Starting from the Arvit prayer on the first night of Chanukah (this year, 5782, starting from tonight, Sunday night) “Al Ha’Nissim” is added in the Amida in the middle of the Blessing of Thanksgiving (“Modim Anachnu Lach etc.) as it is printed in all Siddurim. Even if mos......

Read Halacha

The Meaning of Chanukah as it Applies to Us

We have already discussed the essence of the miracle of Chanukah which was that when the wicked Greeks threatened the Jewish nation, the sons of the Hashmonai family rose up against them and were victorious. They then chose a king for the Jewish nation from their priestly family (of Kohanim). Fro......

Read Halacha