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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Morocco king asks Jews to pray for rain

 King Mohammed VI

At the request of Morocco’s king, prayers for rain were held at synagogues across the kingdom.

The prayers were recited on January 11, one day after countless Muslims said similar prayers in mosques at the request of King Mohammed VI, the Moroccan daily Le Matin reported. The king made the request upon learning that Morocco may suffer a drought in 2014.

Responding to the king’s plea, the Council of Israelite Communities in Morocco, or CCIM, published a statement in which it “invites worshipers to pray in all the synagogues of the kingdom” so that God may “spare our country and help His Highness the King.”

Under King Mohammed VI, Morocco has undertaken massive renovations of Jewish heritage sites and also has participated in such projects abroad, including in Cape Verde off the coast of Senegal, which used to have a population of Moroccan Jews. About 3,000 Jews live in Morocco, according to the European Jewish Congress.

Early last month, Israel’s chief rabbis urged Jews worldwide to say a special prayer for rain for Israel; days later, the heavens opened, and the country was hit later in December with one of its heaviest storms in decades, described by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the “storm of the century.”

The early winter in Israel had been one of the driest on record, even by the parched standards of the region, and so on December 4, Israel’s chief rabbis asked Jews worldwide to insert an additional traditional prayer for rain into their daily supplications and to recite specific psalms.

Soon after the rabbis’ prayer request was made, meteorological data indicated that rain was headed to Israel, and the rabbis asked the public to cease saying the extra prayer, and instead to insert a thanksgiving prayer for rain.

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