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I have a question that, in light of my general unfamiliarity with variance between nuschaot (and my profound unfamiliarity with meteorology and the way that seasons actually work), may not be much of a question. Sources, while welcomed, may not be strictly necessary for this one:

In all siddurim that I have ever seen, the Shemona Esrei requires a blessing for dew in the second benediction (מוריד הטל), which is to be recited between Pesach and Shemini Atzeret, and a blessing for rain in place of that one (משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם) throughout the rest of the year. In presenting these two variations, siddurim generally precede the first of those with something like בקיץ באר"י ("When it is summer in the land of Israel").

My question is as follows: in light of the fact that the population of Jews in the southern hemisphere is, relatively speaking, statistically negligible, and in light of the fact that the nuschaot that I am familiar with were actually produced for European Jews anyway, is not summer in the land of Israel exactly the same as summer "everywhere" else? Why is it necessary to make such a distinction when virtually every Jew for nearly the entirety of Jewish history lived within the same hemisphere? Why not just say, בקיץ?

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I assume you use nusach Ashk'naz prayer books? "בקיץ באר״י" means not "when it's summer in Israel" but "in summer, in Israel [say...]". In nusach Ashk'naz, "morid hatal" is said only in Israel. (Open a nusach S'farad prayer book, and you'll see just "בקיץ" as the qualifier, since nusach S'farad says "morid hatal" even outside of Israel.)

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That is amazing - thank you! I am astonished (and somewhat embarrassed) that I didn't know this, although the bulk of my Torah education was in Israel, where I suppose it made no difference, and prior to that was Chabad (ie: effectively Nusach Sfarad). While I did stipulate that sources were not required for this, do you have one? Preferably the Rema, if you know of where he says this, but authoritative acharonim would be good too. Thanks again. –  Shimon bM Sep 21 '12 at 6:25
    
My only source is personal experience (with nusach Ashk'naz and nusach S'farad congregations and sidurim in and out of Israel), I'm afraid. –  msh210 Sep 23 '12 at 5:29
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