Living in Canada, it is hard to get excited about rain. Often it puts a damper on nice summer plans. Even in Israel, where water is so much more of a precious resource, modern methods of irrigation and desalination have allowed the much smaller amount of rain that has fallen in many recent years to go almost unnoticed. Such was not the case in Talmudic times. As we have previously noted, the primary theme of Masechet Ta'anit is the elaborate system of fast days if rain did not come on time—as even a delay of a few weeks of rain could be catastrophic.