Our ancestors did not want Sukkot to end, so they added an extra day to this festival—one more day to linger over the joys the holiday offered. Our celebrations look quite different now, but we too appreciate this day—and the special prayers for rain associated with it.
By Mark Frydenberg, Translated by Rabbi Simcha Roth
On Shemini Atzeret, Jews offer a special prayer for rain (it is the beginning of the rainy season in Israel). The traditional version of this prayer refers obliquely to each of the forefathers and their relationship to water; this version highlights the foremothers.