Rabbi Chaim Fachler writes a weekly column for the SNAC website, of which we are now making available previous weeks articles.
Simply click on the Parsha to open the article
Here in Israel, from this coming Monday evening’s Maariv (November 4th) until Pesach, we start praying for rain by saying “VeTen Tal Umatar Livracha” instead of “VeTen Bracha”. [When we started saying Mashiv Haruach on Shmini Azeret, it was to acknowledge the blessings HaShem bestows on us, not to ask for rain.] This is an integral part of the davening so if by mistake you say VeTen Bracha, and you only realise this when you have finished the Amida, you need to say it all over again. But if you realise your mistake before you get to the blessing “Shomea Tefilla” you can say there.
Once you have started saying “VeTen Tal Umatar Livracha” here in Israel, you continue saying it when you travel abroad, even though they are still saying “VeTen Bracha” until December 4th. The only exception to this ruling is when you are the Chazan, you need to say “VeTen Bracha” in the repetition, but continue saying “VeTen Tal Umatar Livracha” in the silent Amida.
As mentioned, from Dec 4th, everyone is saying “VeTen Tal Umatar Livracha” – even those living or working in the Southern Hemisphere (according to most halachic Authorities), where the seasons are of course very different. The exception to that ruling is when too much rain can be harmful, in which case consult a local Halachic Authority for a competent ad hoc ruling.