Friday, July 19, 2019 -
Print Edition

It’s all in the timing

I have always loved the rain. At night, the music of the soothing rhythmic tap tap of the rain — it is the loveliest, gentlest lullaby there can be. Even the changes of weather before a powerful storm rolling in, the darkening sky, the violent sounds of thunder and flashes of lightening momentarily bathing the world in a haunted amber light — it makes you feel so alive!

Sometimes, finding yourself in the middle of a torrential rainstorm with sheets of water, when you are literally surrounded by a wall of water, with the loud sound drowning everything else out — it almost feels like a meditation.

Or, when indoors, there is the pleasure of watching the rain trickle down in rivulets against the pane of a glass window.

Me? I have always adored the little Morton Salt girl. She is the ageless umbrella girl with the yellow dress drawn on the Morton’s kosher salt box with the rain pouring above the umbrella; and from the pouring spout of the salt box in her hand, the salt sprinkles down like a shower of fairy dust. Sometimes when I am walking in the rain, rubber boots on my feet and umbrella in hand — that symbol of shelter and protection from the elements or from life’s storms — I playfully channel to myself the essence of this classic umbrella girl.

And we always pray for rain, because we need rainwater to exist. In fact, this week on Shemini Atzeret, inserted in the musaf prayer is the responsive chanting of the melodious “Tefillat Geshem.” The poetic rain prayer of couplets begins with the word zechor, “remember,” recalling the symbols and motif of water in connection with our Patriarchs as well as Moses, Aaron and the Twelve Tribes of Israel. This is the inaugural prayer for the rainy season.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN’s print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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