Perek Shira: The Song of Existence - The Song of the Rain
by Rabbi Shmuel Kraines
The Rains say: “Voluntary rain You sprinkle, Elokim, Your heritage that is weak You establish.” (Tehillim 68:10)
The Torah clearly spells out that life-giving rainfall depends upon the Jewish nation’s loyalty to Hashem. When rain is withheld, it is a sign for the nation to repent and to pray. Even so, frail man is far from perfect. When the rain falls, each drop sings that the rains of “Elokim” (the name that connotes Hashem’s attribute of justice) are in truth “voluntary.” He has mercy on “His heritage that is weak” from hunger. And even if they are lacking in righteousness, He will shower them with gifts of rain.
On a deeper level of understanding, “Your heritage that is weak” refers to spiritual weakness, from sin. When the Jewish People sin, Hashem withholds rain until they repent, and He thereby “establishes” them with righteousness.
An additional reason why rains are called “voluntary” is because they are aroused by our voluntary gifts to the poor. Hashem thus rewards us measure for measure, in Divine proportion. When we voluntarily open our hearts and palms in compassion to the needy, Hashem also voluntarily and uncritically opens His floodgates of blessing wide-open, and the song of the rain resounds through the Heavens and Earth.
- Sources: Sifsei Renanos; Perek B’Shir (Vilna)
*In loving memory of Harav Zeev Shlomo ben Zecharia Leib