What is the reason that in the diaspora, we start requesting rain in the Amidah on the 59th day after תקופת תשרי and what is the significance of 59 days in particular?

  • Don't we start on the 60th day? How do you know this?
    – Double AA
    Oct 15, 2017 at 13:08
  • In my Siddur Sefas Emes, it says that you start it on the 59th day after Tekufas Tishri Oct 15, 2017 at 13:19
  • @JoshuaPearl Do you start on December 4? Since (Julian calendar) September 21 is the halachic fall equinox, (Gregorian calendar) December 4 is the 60th day.
    – DonielF
    Sep 21, 2018 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


This is the Shulchan Aruch Orach chaim 117,1:

ברכת השנים צריך לומר בה בימות הגשמים ותן טל ומטר ומתחילין לשאול מטר בחוצה לארץ בתפלת ערבית של יום ס' אחרי תקופת תשרי (ויום התקופה הוא בכלל הס'. הגהות מיימוני פרק ב'). ובארץ ישראל מתחילין לשאול מליל ז' במרחשון ושואלין עד תפלת המנחה של ערב יום טוב הראשון של פסח ומשם ואילך פוסקין מלשאול: The blessing for rain of "vesen tal umotor" in the blessing for the year (Borech aleinu) must be said in the night of the 60th day after the tekufa of tishrei. Rema: and the 60th day is included in saying vesein tal.. And in Israel one starts to ask for rain on the 7th of Mar cheshvan, [everywhere] we ask till Mincha the day before Pesach.

Source Taanis 10a like the view of Shmuel.


As explained in Tal UMatar - for whom?, we start the prayers for the "local" tekufah according to the times set up for Bavel. This is because, we consider the galus bavel as being the primary determinant of various halachos regarding chutz la'aretz. Thus, even though every location could theoretically have its own time (and a reversal in the Southern hemisphere), we (that is everyone in chutz la'aretz) follow the zmanim for the primary galus, which is Bavel.

Many communities objected, but the Babylonian rabbinate insisted on a uniform date so as to prevent multiple torahs from arising. Bavel was then the primary galus community. Even though this is no longer the case, we maintain the same minhag avoseinu beyadeinu. Note that if we switched to a different community (or everyone for the local time) we could be praying for rain at the time when it is not permitted because of Eretz Yisrael.

Additionally, the extra delay is because we need to wait longer for people to reach the galus after aliyas laregel. As a result, Bavel would have been the typical location that caused this delay.

  • This is all well and good. But it isn't really answering why it is the 59th day. Oct 15, 2017 at 15:24

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