Water for Growth
In the rare song from Moses – ‘Haazinu’, he uses the metaphor of water as Torah, coming down and being absorbed by various audiences:
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and may the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teachings drop like the rain, may my utterance flow like the dew;
like storm winds upon vegetation and like raindrops upon blades of grass.”
Rabbi Ovadia Sforno explains that the same Torah and the same instruction is valuable, though different, for a spectrum of people:
1. “Rain”: for those with ‘understanding’ who will absorb the ‘essence’ of Wisdom.
2. “Dew”: for the ‘simple’ person. Even a little bit (like dew for vegetation) is very good and provides Knowledge.
3. “Storm winds”: for the ‘insightful’ – they will perceive Wonders.
4. “Raindrops”: again for the ‘simple’ person (I guess extended exposure), will give them Understanding of their Creator (which I presume then brings one up to the level of ‘understanding’.)
The order of ascendancy according to Sforno seems to be (see table below also):
A. Dew (2)
B. Raindrops (4)
C. Rain (1)
D. Storm winds (3)
Though Moses presents it in an alternating structure; my theory is that it is a repetitive (like the rains) and constantly ascending formation. Meaning, once one has reached the highest rung (Insightful) of a certain level, he moves up to the lowest rung (Simple) of an even higher level (see figure below). This would result in continuous growth (hopefully) by extended exposure and involvement with Torah.
May we take and make the opportunities this year to grow in all areas: physical, educational, social, financial and spiritual.
Shabbat Shalom and G’mar Chatima Tovah,
To both the physical and spiritual gardeners of Yeshivat Har Etzion. As I spend more time in the Yeshiva at this time of the year, I appreciate both the beautiful grounds keeping as well as the spiritual tending that occurs at the Yeshiva.