Torah as Rain
Ha'azinu (Deuteronomy 32 )
It is nearing the end of Moses' life. On his last day on earth he delivers a powerful, 70-line song to the Jewish people.
Describing the Torah’s messages, one beautiful line of this poem reads, "My teaching shall drop as rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender grass…" (Devarim 32:2)
Why are the Torah’s teachings described as rain?
Rain is the vehicle for bringing to the earth a vital component of life – water.
The effects of rain, however, are often not noticed immediately. When rain falls on trees and plants it takes time to see its impact.
This is also true when we make efforts to change ourselves. We may have goals and aspirations of becoming better, but so often improvement is not immediately noticeable and may be disheartening. However, it should not be. (Rabbi Pliskin)
When working on transforming our characters to become givers, one of the ways of doing this is by doing as many acts of kindness as we can, in the hope that our external actions will change who we are internally.
We may though do these small (or big!) acts of kindness and wonder if they are really affecting who we are as people. We may be doing more kindness, but not necessarily feel like different, more selfless, people.
The rain however teaches us an important lesson.
The drip, drip of small actions does create change. Although perhaps not visible at first, we must not despair or give up. Keep doing small (or big) acts of kindness, and remember that each effort we make, has an impact on who we are, transforming us from 'self-focused' into a ‘giver’.
This is also an important message as we approach Yom Kippur. During these holy days it is encouraged to take on a ‘resolution’ for positive change. Remember, even if what we take on is small, if we pick an area that is central to our lives, then that small change is very significant.
Small and consistent rain drops can form a hole in even the toughest rock.
Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!