Rosh HaShana 16a MISHNAH. AT FOUR SEASONS [DIVINE] JUDGMENT IS PASSED ON THE
WORLD:11 AT PASSOVER IN RESPECT OF PRODUCE; AT PENTECOST IN RESPECT OF FRUIT;
AT NEW YEAR ALL CREATURES PASS BEFORE HIM [GOD] LIKE CHILDREN OF MARON, 12 AS
IT SAYS, ‘HE THAT FASHIONETH THE HEART OF THEM ALL, THAT CONSIDERETH ALL THEIR
DOINGS’;13 AND ON TABERNACLES JUDGMENT IS PASSED IN RESPECT OF RAIN.
The prayer for dew is said in the Mussaf Amidah on the first day of Pesach;14 the prayer for rain is said in the
Mussaf Amidah on Shemini Atzeret,15 which is also the last day of Succoth, and also the day on which the stores of
dew in heaven were opened.16 There is one difference between our prayer for dew and our prayer for rain: We start
praying for rain at the end of the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, but for dew at the beginning of the holiday of Pesach.
Sephardic practice is a little different. We hesitate to interrupt the Amidah for any purpose, so rain and dew are
recited just before the silent Mussaf Amidah. This pattern is norm in Israel for all but Hasidic congregations.
Sephardic practice also varies from Ashkenazi by replacing “the rain to fall and the wind to blow” with “You cause
the dew to fall” to thank HaShem for dew in summer months.