PLACES THAT NEED RAIN IN SUMMER
Question (Benei Ninveh): We need rain even in Tekufas Tamuz. Should we request like individuals, in Shome'a Tefilah, or like a Rabim, in Birkas ha'Shanim?
Answer (Rebbi): Request like individuals, in Shome'a Tefilah.
Question (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): This sequence of Ta'aneisim is only when the years are proper and Benei Yisrael are in Eretz Yisrael. Nowadays everything is according to the years, the place and the time.
Answer: Rebbi is a Tana; he can argue with R. Yehudah.
Question: What was the conclusion?
Answer #1 (Rav Nachman): They request in Birkas ha'Shanim.
Answer #2 (Rav Sheshes): They request in Shome'a Tefilah.
The Halachah is, they request in Shome'a Tefilah.
10a (Mishnah): We start to request rain on the third of Cheshvan;
R. Gamliel says, we start on the seventh, of) to allow the slowest travelers to reach the Pras river.
(Gemara - R. Elazar): The Halachah follows R. Gamliel.
(Beraisa - Chananyah): In Golah we begin 60 days after the Tekufah.
(Shmuel): The Halachah follows Chananyah.
Rif (5a) and Rosh (1:20): Benei Ninveh who need rain even in Tekufas Tamuz request like individuals in Shome'a Tefilah.
Question (Ran 2a DH v'Ika): Why did R. Elazar (10a) rule like R. Gamliel, who allows time for Olei Regalim to return home? We need not be concerned for them after the Churban! Surely, he does not rule for the time of Moshi'ach!
Answer (Ran ibid.): The Gemara (4b) says that where people have produce in the field they delay requesting until the seventh of Cheshvan. R. Elazar rules like R. Gamliel to teach that since in Eretz Yisrael they do not request until the seventh, any place where rain is harmful does not request until the seventh. Any place where rain is needed and desired, like Eretz Yisrael, requests immediately after Sukos. Any place where rain is needed but there is produce in the fields does not request until the seventh of Cheshvan. Places like Bavel that do not need rain do not request until 60 days after the Tekufah. The Rif and Rambam do not mention produce in the fields; they rule like R. Gamliel and Chananyah.
Rambam (Hilchos Tefilah 2:16): In Bavel, Surya, Mitzrayim and nearby and similar places we request rain on the 60th day after the Tekufah.
Kaf ha'Chayim (OC 117:15): Here the Rambam says that even places that do not need rain in winter request it when the rest of the world does; it is known that Mitzrayim does not need rain. The Ari Zal writes similarly. However, Pirush ha'Mishnayos (1:4, brought below) says that if rain is harmful in a place we do not request it.
Rambam (17): Places that need rain in summer, such as distant islands, request rain in Shome'a Tefilah.
Pirush ha'Mishnayos (1:4): Places with climates different than Eretz Yisrael begin to request rain when they need it. For them, that day is like the seventh of Cheshvan.
Question: This connotes that after the seventh they request in Birkas ha'Shanim. In Hilchos Tefilah he wrote that distant islands request rain in Shome'a Tefilah!
Answer #1 (Rosh, Teshuvah 4:10): An entire region requests rain in Birkas ha'Shanim when they need it. Islands are not regions. They are like individuals, who request in Shome'a Tefilah.
Objection (Kesef Mishneh): Islands can also be regions!
Answer #2 (Kesef Mishneh): Rather, Pirush ha'Mishnayos explains only when such place request rain. In the Mishnah Torah he teaches that they request in Shome'a Tefilah, like individuals. Places in Galus which need rain within 60 days of the Tekufah request in Birkas ha'Shanim, for then we also request in Eretz Yisrael.
Pirush ha'Mishnayos (ibid.): There are places where it usually starts to rain in Nisan. In some places Cheshvan begins summer and rain is destructive then. It is folly to say that they should begin to request then.
Question (Rosh 1:4): Why do we follow the custom of Bavel? Granted, we follow the Talmud Bavli, but this depends on climate! Bavel was a lagoon and did not need rain. Why should lands that need rain in Cheshvan wait until 60 days after the Tekufah?! It is known that if rain did not come before this, the seeds would perish. Why don't we follow our Mishnah? In Province they requested rain in Cheshvan; I was very pleased.
Korban Nesan'el (4): Nevertheless, the Halachah does not follow this. If someone requested rain before 60 days he must go back.
Shulchan Aruch (OC 114:4): In summer if one said Morid ha'Geshem he goes back...even in a place that needs rain in summer.
Eshel Avraham (6): In such a place if someone mistakenly requested rain in Birkas ha'Shanim he does not go back (without intent for Tefilas Nedavah - 117:2). This is because he had a Heter to request, in Shome'a Tefilah. There is no Heter to mention rain in summer; we follow the majority of the world.
Rebuttal (Bi'ur Halachah DH v'Afilu): Regarding request, the Shulchan Aruch is concerned for the Rosh's opinion that they should request when they need rain. Teshuvas ha'Rosh (4:10) explicitly says that the same applies to mention! Here the Shulchan Aruch discusses an isolated place that needs rain. Only in an entire region that needs rain one does not go back.
Note: The Beis Yosef (117 DH v'Chosav Od) cites the Rosh's distinction between an isolated place and an entire region to answer the contradiction in the Rambam, and seemingly accepts it. The Kesef Mishneh (cited above) rejects the Rosh and gives a different answer. Perhaps he rejects only the idea that islands are not considered regions, but he also distinguishes isolated places from entire regions.
Beis Yosef (DH u'Mah she'Chosav mi'Kol): Teshuvas ha'Rosh (ibid.) says that we follow the Bavli regarding Isur v'Heter, but we need not follow it regarding something which is based on the needs of the time that cannot entail an Isur Torah.
Mishnah Berurah (24): Even though one he need not go back if he requested in a place that needs rain, it is improper to praise Hash-m by mentioning something that is a curse in other places.
Note: We mention rain in winter in the northern hemisphere, even though it is then summer in the southern hemisphere! Perhaps we are concerned only if it is a curse in most places (where Yisraelim live). Alternatively, perhaps we are concerned only if there are places nearby for which rain is a curse.
Shulchan Aruch (117:2): If individuals need rain in summer they do not request in Birkas ha'Shanim, rather, in Shome'a Tefilah. Even a great city like Ninveh or an entire region like Sefard or Ashkenaz is like individuals.
Question: One who needs income requests it in Birkas ha'Shanim. Why is rain different?
Answer #1 (Ran 5a DH Sholchu): Rain is different, for it is harmful for most of the world in summer - "Ketzir Chitim ha'Yom".
Note: Above (1b DH Yerushalmi) the Ran said that usually rain is beneficial even in summer, i.e. as long as there was some rain in winter. It is difficult to answer that there he refers to Eretz Yisrael and here to the rest of the world, for here he brings a proof from Eretz Yisrael, "Ketzir Chitim ha'Yom". It is difficult to answer that there he explains the Yerushalmi but the Bavli argues, for there he rejected the Ramban's Perush because it was unlike the Bavli.
Answer #2 (Beis Yosef DH vi'Ychidim): One who needs income does not change the text that everyone else says; he merely adds a request. Here, he changes from the text of the Tzibur (in normal climates). They do not request, and one who requests goes back.
Taz (2): The Bach says that one should not request rain out of the normal season, even in Shome'a Tefilah; it is imposing on Hash-m. Surely this refers to the Shali'ach Tzibur's repetition, for it is a Tefilas Tzibur. Rebbi told Benei Ninveh to request in Shome'a Tefilah like individuals!
Mishnah Berurah (9): Our custom is that the Shali'ach Tzibur requests rain in Shome'a Tefilah (when it is needed in summer).
Shulchan Aruch (ibid.): However, if an entire region needs rain in summer, and an individual erred and requested rain in Birkas ha'Shanim, he (Rema - may) pray again Tefilas Nedavah without requesting in Birkas ha'Shanim.
Beis Yosef (DH u'Mah she'Chosav Aval): The Rosh wrote in his Teshuvah that an individual should be allowed to request since it is a public need; the only problem is Lo Tisgodedu (factions in Yisrael). Mahari Avuhav infers that one who requested need not go back. I would have thought that since the other Poskim oppose the Rosh, one must go back. Since it is a Safek (perhaps Mahari Avuhav is correct), one should pray again Tefilas Nedavah, like one who did not mention Shabbos in Minchah of Shabbos.
Rebuttal (Darchei Moshe): The Rambam and Ran agree with the Rosh. One may rely on this b'Di'eved and not go back.
Mishnah Berurah (10): If one realized his mistake in the middle, he finishes Shemoneh Esre and prays again Tefilas Nedavah.
Kaf ha'Chayim (21): An individual need not go back, but a Shali'ach Tzibur must. If it is only one city that needs rain, Poskim argue about whether or not one must go back. One should pray again Tefilas Nedavah with a Chidush.
Kaf ha'Chayim (22,23): If one requested b'Mezid he must go back, perhaps to the beginning. The Mechaber obligates one to go back.
Rema: He is not obligated to pray again at all.
Kaf ha'Chayim (26): It is best to intend that if the Halachah follows the Mechaber, his additional Shemoneh Esre is obligatory; it is good to have a Chidush intent.
Mishnah Berurah (11,13): In our lands, if there was no drought, one who requested rain between Pesach and Shavu'os must pray again Tefilas Nedavah. The same applies to one who requested within 60 days after the Tekufah in a land that needs rain then.
Bi'ur Halachah (DH ha'Tzerichim): The Shulchan Aruch discusses a region that needs rain. This suggests that there has been a lack of rain. However, the Shulchan Aruch learns from the Rosh, who holds that a place where rain is normally useful at the time should request it! Poskim argue about b'Di'eved, so if rain has not been withheld one should pray again on condition that if he is not obligated it is a Nedavah.