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There are a few changes to the amida which reflect the changes in the seasons -- we add (or change to) mashiv haru'ach umorid hagashem (or geshem) at Shmini Atzeret (and back at Pesach) and switch TO v'tein bracha on Pesach.

These changes indicate an awareness in our tefillot of the need for certain changes in nature, and the v'tein bracha is a request: we don't want rain when it would be inappropriate. This is based on our farming needs.

However, Pesach ranges in our calendar from year to year (March 25th to approximately April 24) while the needs of the soil and the sowing and reaping cycle stay the same. In a "late" year, we would be praying for rain for almost a month more than we might need it (or in an early year, for a month less).

Why would our date for changing from v'tein tal umatar livracha be based in a lunar based holiday which moves back and forth through two solar months instead of on a solar date which reflects the yearly agricultural cycle more precisely?

  • If you didn't use a solar calendar daily you might not be wondering this – Double AA Mar 11 at 12:55
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    The agriculture needs vary with random weather patterns too. If anything an actively managed leap year calendar could be more accurate than a fixed solar date! – Double AA Mar 11 at 12:56
  • I don't think that the change of the seasons is a lunar-based event regardless of how I label my days. If I am not going to change my davening yearly, based on satellites and projections, then it should be based in an established cycle. – rosends Mar 11 at 12:56
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    the established cycle is the calendar. Using a time not on the calendar is bizarre. That's what you are proposing. (Weather projections is indeed how it's supposed to work but now we have a fixed calendar.) – Double AA Mar 11 at 13:00
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    Does "Spring" exist on a halachic calendar? I was under the impression that the leap month was meant to ensure that the lunar holiday stays within the solar season. A farmer would probably know when he wanted rain to start or stop and I doubt it would vary by a month year to year. – rosends Mar 11 at 13:05

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