Powers of Rain

Jill Slater posts an intriguing description of Amichai Lau-Lavie’s “Rain Rave” up in the Berkshires last weekend, held to mark the time on the Jewish calendar when we add the phrase “you cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall” to our davvening, and to bring to life the ancient tradition of simchat beit hashoeivah:

At the Rain Rave, I was assigned the role of a priestess who danced for the masses in the “Temple.” Later in the evening, down on one knee in the dark, I held a large, empty plastic punchbowl, surrounded by strings of electric lights and purple fabric. The woman next to me slowly poured water from her bowl into mine. As I surveyed the room, I was somehow transported to the real Temple, where a giant candelabra could be seen for miles around and where, supposedly, the people reached a spiritual and worldly equilibrium. On a practical level, the ritual worked: Within minutes of extracting the water from the lake, it was pouring, complete with thunder and lightning. And as for the chaos and order, my tent provided just the balance, impressing me with its water-resistant seams.

Those of you who reveled in celebrating or making fun of the Burning Man posts last month, take special note. Full story.

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