R ain in Tzfat, when it finally comes, is serious rain. There’s no wimpy pitter-patter or drip-drop up here on top of the mountain — just really heavy downpours. And after the baking summer, we’re all ready for the rain.

The thing is, even though we’re waiting for the rain, when it actually comes, we’re really not ready for it at all. Somehow it always manages to take us by surprise and suddenly appears on a day that looked like it was going to be hot and sunny. And so we’re all still in sandals and shirts — no sweaters, coats, or boots, and definitely no umbrellas. (Actually, the shops in Tzfat don’t even start selling umbrellas until after it starts — smart, huh?!)

That’s what happened to us this year, just for a change. The day started off dry and sunny, but as it got closer to the time for us to go home from Talmud Torah, the skies suddenly turned black.

“Whoa, did you see outside?” I nudged Yochai, who sits next to me. “Looks like there’s gonna be a mabul!”

“Nah!” he laughed. “It hasn’t rained yet this year and I didn’t hear anyone say anything about rain. Maybe there will just be a bit of thunder and lightning.”

We were actually supposed to be doing some math problems, but the clouds outside were, I have to admit, a lot more interesting. Unfortunately, Rav Rachamim noticed that too.

“Yosef Chaim! Yochai! What are you boys talking about that is so much more important than math?”

We jumped guiltily.

“Oh, sorry, Harav,” I mumbled. “But Harav, did you see outside?”

Rav Rachamim had been busy at his desk, checking some test papers, and hadn’t noticed what was going on outside. Now he looked out of the window.

“Oy vey!” he cried. “It’s going to pour and none of you have coats or even winter shoes! What shall we do?!”

He thought for a minute.

“I’ll be back in a moment, boys,” he told us. “Be quiet and keep on with the problems.”

He strode out of the kitah. Five minutes later, he was back.

“Okay, boys. We have permission from the principal to go home early. I want you to get safely home before it starts raining, otherwise you will all get soaked. Quickly now — put all your books in your bags and off you go!”

Eizeh kef! What fun! It’s not often we get let out early! We all jumped up, grabbed our bags, and piled out of the door.

“Now remember, go straight home!” Rav Rachamim warned us. “If you dawdle on the way, you’ll get caught in the rain!”

Outside it wasn’t raining, but it was very dark. Suddenly, the whole sky lit up.

“Wow, did you see that?!” exclaimed Natanel. “That was lightning! Wait for the thunder!”

And sure enough, a few seconds later, there was a deep, distant rumbling noise. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 684)