If a Jew lives outside of Israel, they should start saying "וְתֵן טַל וּמָטָר לִבְרָכָה" ("And give dew and rain for a blessing") during evening prayers on a certain evening in December.

Various sources disagree on which evening this should be.

The two competing opinions are as follows:

  • From an Ohr Somayach website article, it looks like we should usually start saying the words during the evening of December 5, just like The Book of Our Heritage says to do.

  • But I also looked at a blog article by Michael Laitner, which quotes Philip Baigel and Russell Grossman. That article seems to imply that we should usually start saying the words during the evening of December 4. I looked inside The Expanded ArtScroll Siddur (Sep. '10) and it agrees.

TotalBen LLC offers a chart by Moishe Miller, but it isn't so helpful because it uses the ambiguous word "eve" in the top row.

I looked at two prayer books on Sefaria's website, but their instructions just use vague words like "winter".

I haven't yet checked the online Metsudah siddur.

In practice, on which evening should we start adding the words "Vtein tal umatar livrachah" to our prayers?

Edit: Why I think this question should be reopened

I see that msh210 believes that this question is a duplicate of "How to calculate 60 days from tekufat tishri for any given year". Unfortunately, I've looked at yydl's answer there but am still confused.

That thread is good for more-technical readers. Still, I think we should leave this thread open for simpler folk like me, who want a simple, easy-to-understand answer. We can mark this thread as related to that one, instead of marking this thread as an exact duplicate of that one. (I've done so already; please see the "Related" section at the bottom of this post.)

Second edit: More reopen reasons

I don't need a fancy algorithm which will work for centuries; I'd just like simple instructions which will work for at least a decade or two.

This question isn't an exact duplicate of any other question; it's only similar. And the "Dr. Strangedupe" blog post by Jeff Atwood makes clear that it's okay to have a small number of open duplicates of a question, as long as the duplicates are similar but not identical.


Please see also the related thread: "How to calculate 60 days from tekufat tishri for any given year".

  • See also judaism.stackexchange.com/q/11985/170
    – msh210
    Dec 2 '18 at 21:53
  • 1
    I've added an edit explaining why this post is not a duplicate. Dear all: Agree? Disagree? Thoughts? Dec 3 '18 at 0:21
  • 1
    Maybe we should start a discussion on Mi Yodeya Meta. Dec 3 '18 at 0:22
  • Though I'm not so familiar with how these sorts of discussions are normally started on Meta. It would be good if someone other than me could please start the discussion there and provide us with a link. ❧ If you do create such a post, please feel free to freely copy and/or quote from everything which I've written above. Dec 3 '18 at 4:13
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    @unforgettableid All you need to do is ask a question on Meta, and basically copy-paste your edits from here. I believe the protocol on this kind of question, since you agree that it’s a duplicate but want an answer for less technical readers, is that this is a duplicate, and that you (or someone) should post a bounty on the other question, saying that you’re looking for a less technical answer.
    – DonielF
    Dec 12 '18 at 22:43