Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For Those Rainy Days

It looks like rain all day today according to weather.com after 1pm. And so a text, appropriate enough for April. But first credit where credit is due: The Image above comes from www.redmum.blogspot.com. Her pictures are really wonderful, look for the picture of the car with the child and the picture taken in a mirror of a duck ride. She has a great eye.

And now the text:

תלמוד בבלי מסכת תענית דף ז עמוד א

אמר רבי אבהו: גדול יום הגשמים מתחיית המתים, דאילו תחיית המתים לצדיקים, ואילו גשמים - בין לצדיקים בין לרשעים. ופליגא דרב יוסף, דאמר רב יוסף: מתוך שהיא שקולה כתחיית המתים - קבעוה בתחיית המתים. אמר רב יהודה: גדול יום הגשמים כיום שניתנה בו תורה, שנאמר +דברים ל"ב+ יערף כמטר לקחי, ואין לקח אלא תורה, שנאמר +משלי ד'+ כי לקח טוב נתתי לכם תורתי אל תעזבו. רבא אמר: יותר מיום שניתנה בו תורה, שנאמר יערף כמטר לקחי מי נתלה במי - הוי אומר: קטן נתלה בגדול.

Rabbi Abahu said, "Rainy days are greater than the day of the resurrection of the dead because the resurrection of the dead is only for the righteous, whereas rainy days are for everyone." Rav Yosef disagrees and says, "Rainy days are equal to the resurrection of the dead and that is why we pray for rain in the Amidah where we pray for the resurrection of the dead."

Rav Yehudah says, "Greater are rainy days than the day that the Torah was given, as it says (Deut. 30:2) 'My doctrine (lekach)shall drop like the rain' and the word lekach always means Torah as it says in Proverbs, "Behold a good doctrine has been givem to you-- my Torah..." Rava says, "(Rainy days) are greater than the day in which Torah was given as it says, 'My doctrine shall fall like rain.' One says that the lesser (Torah) is compared with the greater (rain)."

Explanation: Rava's explanation in the end is a little confusing. What he means is that because the Torah is being compared with rain, it must be that rain is greater. Think something along the lines of: Milwaukee's Art Museum will be like The Art Institute of Chicago means that the Art Institute is the greater thing. Or: Dwayne Wade is like Michael Jordan-- choosing Michael Jordan as the point of comparison suggests that he is better. Or: Nicole Kraus writes like Saul Bellow. Or: This Kosher Pizza tastes like non-Kosher Pizza.

Things to do on a rainy day--

Imagine: Nicole Kraus spending Shavuot with Dwayne Wade at the Art Museum in Milwaukee eating Kosher Pizza on Shavuot.
Imagine: Saul Bellow passing a rainy day with Michael Jordan at the Art Institute in Chicago eating non-Kosher Pizza.

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