Praying for rain

Now the rain has begun to flow in many parts of Israel… I thought I would take the time to share a thought about the prayers we have been saying.

I learnt this many years ago from a friend, but now I have been able to understand it clearer. Since the last day of Chag we have begun to pray for rain, but do we really know the depths the prayer holds.

משיב חרוח ומוריד הגשס
Who makes the wind blow,and makes the rain descend.

If we take the words on a literal level, this bracha is talking about Hashem’s power in the world. However if we take the words and look closely at the roots, it can be given a new meaning.

Look at the words, הרוח and הגשס more closely… הרוח is the same root as the word רוכניות spirituality. הגשס has the same root as the word גשמיות physicality. This therefore means the bracha could be read as…
Who makes the spirituality blow and the physicality descend.

However what does this mean? This is alluding to the idea that Hashem helps us by bringing the physical, material stuff down so that the spiritual can rise.
Sometimes in the world we are surrounded with these physical thoughts and physical/material blocks within our growth. The world often makes us think one thing, therefore making it hard to believe in the things that we are taught, often creating a negative impact within ourselves. For example , humbleness, the world’s view of a humble person is someone who doesn’t showcase themselves in an arrogant way. If someone comes into a room and asks for a good artist, when someone says ‘I am’ we think them as being not humble and slightly arrogant. However in fact it is the opposite, humbleness isn’t hiding our talents but using them in a modest way. If someone asks for a good artist and we are, we should put ourselves forward but we should be careful not to think or act better than the others around.
This is why we we need Hashem to help bring the physical, negative surroundings down so that the spiritual and positive things can rise.

However at the same time we need both in order to succeed. The wind on its own does nothing, but together with the rain the plants are given the tools to grow.
This is the same with spirituality and physicality, one without the other is not good, however together with the right balance we can grow to reach out goals.

I think this is why this prayer for rain is said within the bracha for מחיה מתיס as this is talking about Reviving us from not only literal death (which would be the rain part as we need rain to survive) but also from anything that is troubling us. The bracha of מחיה מתיס is not just physically ‘reviving the dead’ but dead as in our spiritual troubles.

I hope now the rain has started our so to will our positively and spirituality rise so that we are able to reach our full potential.


About the Author
Nehama is originally from London. At 19 years old she has made aliyah and is now studying ulpan on kibbutz Sde Eliyahu.
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