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    A less predictable prayer

    In the Holy of Holies in the Temple, the Kohen Gadol (high priest) offered this prayer for the people of Israel:

    May it be Your will, O Lord, that this year may be blessed with enough rain, sun, shade and dew.

    May it be a year of Heavenly good will, a year of blessing, fair prices, satiety, good business; a year in which Your people Israel will not need sustenance from one another, nor treat each other in a dishonest and arrogant manner… And do not pay attention to the prayers of travellers.

    A strange addendum. Seeing how seriously we take T’fillat HaDerech, the traveller’s prayer, how can a high priest ask God to take no notice of what we say?

    The explanation is probably that travellers always want good weather so that they can enjoy the sights and sites.

    Perpetual good weather sounds a dream. But it would not be good for the world. We need alternating seasons, climatic kaleidoscopes. Without rainy, windy days we would not appreciate the pleasant periods.

    The high priest’s prayer teaches us to thank God for whatever He metes out to us, and to seek everybody’s well being and not be selfish.

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