Shavuos Rains of Revelation

There was gentle cool rain last night in Jerusalem. That’s unusual, because the rainy season stops in the spring, and there usually isn’t a drop the entire summer. The dry season can be hard to bear, but I’ve noticed how this year we are being gradually eased and coaxed from the winter to the summer, with a refreshing rain on Passover morning, another spritz on the middle of the season and an unexpected spray last night that seemed to bring a bit of steam up and it dropped down. If my kids had been outside, they would have been excited; “look, Ima, rain!” but they were learning with their father before the holiday and I was taking a stroll late at night.

We are preparing for Shavuos, the day which we received the Torah. This was a dramatic event the Jews awaited for seven weeks, carefully counting the days and marking the time. There was thunder, lightning, the Jews heard the voice of G-d and the impact was so powerful they lost consciousness; their souls left their bodies with each utterance and had to be revived by the dew that will be used to bring the dead back to life in the days Moshiach (the Jewish Messiah) is revealed.

And yet, according to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, there will be a “new Torah” when Moshiach comes. Actually, not a completely new Torah, but a new revelation of what we learned before. It will sound familiar to us, because our souls learned it in Heaven, before the angel touched to top of our lips and made us forget so we could be born into this world. It was a Torah that was too great and powerful for the limitations of this world, and yet our souls will recognize it.

When will we receive this Torah? We are receiving it now, like drops of gentle rain at unexpected times and places. The internet is awash with insights on Torah and the inward explanations into our existence. Books and newspapers are dealing with deeper and deeper questions, and people are increasingly dissatisfied with the pat answers that would have satisfied them just a few years earlier. The questions grow, become deeper and more fundamental and more and more knowledge is available.

It is said that when the Moshiach will be revealed, knowledge of G-d will fill the earth like waters fill the sea. But the sea is filled first with drops of rain.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, in his later talks, discussed in detail this period of the gentle rain of revelation and how we will become more closely acquainted with our nature and the essence of creation. Chassidus is the science of reality and the degrees to which it is revealed. And Chassidus, as the Previous Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn writes in HaYomYom, teaches how small we are and yet how great we can become.

May we receive the Torah with Joy and pnimiyut (inwardness)…

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