Surrendering Liberty in Sodom

The Torah’s problem with trying to lead a quiet, comfortable life.

Illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX.

Illustration by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX.

Observation
Jeremy England and Daniel Kaganovich
Oct. 8 2013

Sukkot, Sh’mini Atzeret, Simhat Torah—the closing festivals of the New Year in the Hebrew calendar—mark a time of great agricultural significance in the land of Israel. As the warmer season fades and winter’s clouds begin to gather over the westward sea, the order of prayer undergoes a small but substantial change: instead of thanking God for His summer gift of dew alone, Jews begin to praise Him for the winds and rains. Two weeks later, an entreaty—“give dew and downpour for a blessing”—is added to the thrice-daily standing prayer, a plea perhaps most fervently expressed by farmers who have toiled furiously to plant their fields in time.

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More about: Egypt, Garden of Eden, Israel, Lot, Rain, Sodom, Talmud