Halacha for Monday 24 Tishrei 5781 October 12 2020

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

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 Thursday night). The Sephardic custom is to light one set of Chanukah candles per house. The Ashkenazi custom, however, is that every member of the hous......

Read Halacha

Melaveh Malka

Question: Is one obligated to eat bread on Motza’ei Shabbat for the fourth Shabbat meal which is also referred to as “Melaveh Malka” (meal escorting out the Shabbat Queen)? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Shabbat (119b) tells us that one should always set one’s table nicely......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Women Regarding the “Melaveh Malka” Meal

In the previous Halacha we have explained that one should put forth an effort to eat The fourth Shabbat meal, which is also known as the “Melaveh Malka” meal, which is held on Motza’ei Shabbat to escort out the Shabbat Queen and to retain blessing for the rest of the meals of the w......

Read Halacha

A Tool Used for Work Prohibited on Shabbat

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed the basic laws of Muktzeh on Shabbat which is that there are certain objects our Sages prohibited moving on Shabbat. Utensils or tools which are used for types of work that are permitted on Shabbat may be moved for any purpose. Thus, one may move forks, kn......

Read Halacha


Moving an Electric Blanket or Fan on Shabbat

Question: May one use an electric blanket (heating pad) on Shabbat or is it prohibited to be moved due to the prohibition of Muktzeh? Similarly, may one turn a fan to another direction on Shabbat? Answer: In the previous Halachot we have discussed several laws of Muktzeh on Shabbat which are obje......

Read Halacha

“Muktzeh Due to Monetary Loss”

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed several laws regarding Muktzeh which are certain objects that our Sages prohibited moving on Shabbat. As of yet, we have discussed three types of Muktzeh: “Utensils used for work permitted on Shabbat”, such as forks, knives, and the like, wh......

Read Halacha

The Customary Order of Rosh Hashanah

It is customary to eat certain symbolic foods during the two nights of Rosh Hashanah which signify good fortune for the entire upcoming year. It is therefore customary to eat black-eyed peas, pumpkin, leek, spinach, dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in honey, and meat of a sheep’s head on the......

Read Halacha

Moving Books and Newspapers on Shabbat

Question: Is one permitted to move or read medical books or phonebooks on Shabbat? What is the law regarding reading newspapers on Shabbat? The Opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch Regarding Reading Books on Mundane and Forbidden Topics Answer: Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 307, S......

Read Halacha