"Like Rain": Melody and Midrash for the Week of Hesed

The 49 days of the Omer are filled with anticipation and spiritual significance. In 2021, Hadar’s Advanced Kollel and the Rising Song Institute gathered online weekly to hear new melodies and explore midrash as we count toward the gift of receiving the Torah on Shavuot.

Register to attend the final session live on May 13: hadar.org/counting-omer

Learn and sing along below as Joey Weisenberg from RSI and R. Aviva Richman from Hadar work through a piece from Sifre Devarim (a halakhic midrash on the Book of Deuteronomy composed in Talmudic Israel/Babylon around 200 CE) commenting on the following verse:

יַעֲרֹ֤ף כַּמָּטָר֙ לִקְחִ֔י

תִּזַּ֥ל כַּטַּ֖ל אִמְרָתִ֑י

כִּשְׂעִירִ֣ם עֲלֵי־דֶ֔שֶׁא

וְכִרְבִיבִ֖ים עֲלֵי־עֵֽשֶׂב׃

May my teaching come down as the rain,

My word shall flow as the dew,

As winds upon the herbage,

Like showers on the grass.


יערף כמטר לקחי -

אין לקחי אלא דברי תורה,

שנאמר (משלי ד) כי לקח טוב נתתי לכם;

ואומר (משלי ח׳:י׳) קחו מוסרי ואל כסף,

ואין מוסר אלא דברי תורה

שנ' (משלי א׳:ח׳) שמע בני מוסר אביך [ואל תטש תורת אמך]

ואומ' (משלי ח׳:ל״ג) שמע מוסר וחכמה,

ואומ' החזק במוסר ואל תרף,

ואומר (הושע יד) קחו עמכם דברים ושובו אל ה',

ואין דברים אלא דברי תורה

שנא' (דברים ה) את הדברים האלה דבר ה' אל כל קהלכם:

"My taking shall drip as the rain":

"Taking" is Torah, as it says, "For a goodly taking have I given to you; do not forsake My Torah" (Proverbs 4:2);

and it says "Take My mussar (discipline), and not silver" (Proverbs 8:10)

and "mussar" is nothing other than words of Torah,

as it says "Hear, my son, the mussar of your Father, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother" (Proverbs 1:8)

and it says "Hear mussar and grow wise" (Proverbs 8:33) and "Hold fast to mussar; do not let it go" (Proverb 4:13)

And it is written "Take words with you and return to the L-rd" (Hoshea 14:3)

and "words" is nothing other than words of Torah,

as it says, "These words God spoke to all of your congregation" (Devarim 5:19).


שֶׁ֭בְּשִׁפְלֵנוּ זָ֣כַר לָ֑נוּ כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ׃ וַיִּפְרְקֵ֥נוּ מִצָּרֵ֑ינוּ כִּ֖י לְעוֹלָ֣ם חַסְדּֽוֹ׃

Who took note of us in our degradation, His steadfast love is eternal;

and rescued us from our enemies, His steadfast love is eternal;

Learn to sing Joey Weisenberg's melody "Sheb'Shifleinu" which will appear on the forthcoming album, L'eila, his eighth from Rising Song Records.

Continue counting the Omer in melody and midrash with Deborah Sacks Mintz and Hannah Kapnik Ashar for the week of Gevurah.