Ha’nosein sheleg ka’tzemer; k’for ka’eifer y’fazeir.
Mashlich karcho ch’fitim; lifnei karaso mi ya’amod.
Yishlach d’varo v’yamseim; yasheiv rucho yizlu mayim.
- [This prosperity comes because] it is He Who sends His command (the rain) to the earth, (and) His word runs very swiftly (to do its mission to water the produce).
- It is He Who gives snow like wool (that covers the earth like a blanket); He scatters frost (abundantly) like ashes.
- He throws down His ice like little pieces; who could withstand its cold (the cold of the ice, if it came down in one piece)?
- He sends another command (the sunlight) and melts them (the snow, frost, and ice); He makes the (warm) wind blow and they flow like water.
Once again, we note the letter hei in the beginning of the pasuk. Hashem – and only Hashem – is the cause of rain, which He sends down. We have the opportunity to remind ourselves of this concept in multiple places in our tefilah and should utilize them to integrate deeper into our minds and hearts that it is only Hashem Who is the cause of anything and everything.
Similarly, when we recite the words Mashiv ha’ruach u’morid ha’geshem in the second brachah of Shemoneh Esrei, the letter mem should be stressed. Hashem alone is the One Who makes the wind blow and the rain come down when and where He desires.
The Siach Yitzchak, a commentary in the Siddur HaGra, understands our current pasuk – and those following it, until the end of this mizmor – as addressing one very important issue. As we have mentioned, this chapter of T’hilim drives home Hashem’s direct involvement in the world and speaks about the future when Hashem will redeem us, may it be speedily in our days.
We have been subject to an extremely long and painful exile. Perhaps we might lose hope when we look at the world around us and ask ourselves: How is it possible that, “in our days,” we can be gathered from all parts of the world, Yerushalayim will be rebuilt spiritually, and the entire world will recognize and accept Hashem’s Kingship? From where we see the world right now, that seems like it would have to take hundreds of years or more. To that end, David HaMelech tells us that Hashem’s “word” (His command or edict) makes things happen speedily.
The next few p’sukim until the end of this mizmor show us how Hashem speedily reverses that which to us looks dark, bleak, and devoid of hope. There are two examples provided. The first relates to the winter and spring seasons annually, while the second relates to our greatest historic event, which came speedily after a 2,000-year wait.
Hashem commands the snow to cover the earth like a wool blanket, the frost to scatter like ashes, and the ice and cold to perform their functions. If someone who has never seen or heard of winter came to Chicago and saw the bare trees, the dead grass, the snow, frost, and ice covering the ground, and felt the freezing cold and howling winds, he would think that the world may be coming to an end. But then, Hashem issues another command, and the sun melts the snow, the ice, and the frost, while the warm wind causes the water to flow. Everything Hashem has done throughout the winter and early spring causes the vegetation to sprout, the flowers to bloom, and the grass to come alive. (See Praise, My Soul by HaRav Avigdor Miller for a detailed explanation of how the different aspects of winter in these p’sukim are of great benefit to the soil and vegetation.)
The winter was long and bitter, but then, in a flash, Hashem turns everything around and we experience the warmth and beauty of spring. So, too, we have been in a long and bitter exile for over 2,000 years, but through Hashem’s conduct of the seasons of the year, Hashem teaches us to anxiously await the day, may it come speedily in our days, when, in a flash, Hashem will redeem us and restore the beauty of Yerushalayim, returning His Sh’chinah and all of us to the rebuilt Beis HaMikdash.
We will conclude the mizmor, b’ezras Hashem, next week with the last couple of p’sukim and a recap.
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