Friday Candle Lighting: 6:32 pm
Shabbat Ends: 7:19 pm
Gardening, Jewish Style
“May my teaching drop like rain, may my utterance flow like the dew” (32:1)
A violent storm. Winds howling. The rain lashes the ground. It seems as though the earth is being torn apart by the weather. And yet without this heavy downpour nothing will grow properly. For if only the dew waters the ground, the heat of the sun will burn and shrivel the seeds.
Only if heavy rains water the ground will the dew do its job of bringing forth the flowering blossoms.
This is the way of Torah. If a person labors in the halacha, filling himself with the methodology and torrent of Talmudic logic, even though it may seem that he is struggling against a deluge, he will eventually bring forth strong and beautiful flowers.
He may feel storm-driven and pounded by the rains. Nevertheless, the fruits of his labors will also include the esoteric parts of Torah, the “dew” of Aggadita (homiletic, ethical teachings from our Sages). They will flower in his hands.
However, if he only concerns himself with the “dew” of the Torah, the Aggadita, then in the withering “sun,” the bright lights of secular cynicism, his Torah will wither and die, lacking the deep rain to nourish its roots.
- Sources: based on the Netziv as explained by Rabbi Pinchas Kantrovitz