"My doctrine drops as the rain, my speech flows as the dew." (Deut. 32:2)

In this verse, the Torah is likened to both rain and dew. The significant difference between the two is that the extent to which rain falls is dependent on our merits, whereas the extent to which dew condenses is not. Thus, G‑d tells us that:
"if you study My commandments continuously…in order to serve…with all your heart and soul...I will give you the rain for your land in its time"

and if: "your hearing is misled…and you neglect to study...and you worship insentient deities...there will be no rain"
but there is no similar pronouncement regarding dew. Rain therefore alludes to the aspect of Divine beneficence that we must elicit through our good behavior, whereas dew alludes to the aspect that we do not have to elicit ourselves.

...there two parallel aspects of Divine revelation that we receive when we study the Torah...

Just as Divine beneficence in general falls into these two categories, so are there two parallel aspects of Divine revelation that we receive when we study the Torah: one earned by virtue of our efforts and the other beyond our ability to earn. Of course, we have to put forth the effort to learn in order to receive both aspects of Divine revelation, but with regard to the first aspect, the revelation is commensurate with our efforts and similar to them, whereas with regard to the second, the revelation is a Divine gift beyond both the intensity and nature of our efforts.

In a broad sense, these two aspects of Divine revelation are present in the study of any part of the Torah. Even the study of the Torah’s most seemingly prosaic parts is not simply the acquisition of knowledge but an encounter with the Giver of the Torah, who reveals Himself subliminally within the words we utter and the ideas we study. In the narrower sense, however, the first aspect is elicited by studying the external dimension of the Torah (the Torah’s laws and their derivation) and the second through studying its inner dimension. The association of the Torah’s outer and inner dimensions with rain and dew, respectively, parallel their respective association with the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, which we have seen previously.

The full revelation of the "dew" of the Torah, the Torah’s inner dimension, will occur as part of the future Redemption. An allusion to this may be found in the sages’ teaching that as part of the future Redemption, G‑d will resurrect the dead using "dew" – specifically, the "dew"-aspect of the Torah.

...the soul had to be cleansed in Purgatory before entering Paradise...

In this context, the two types of Divinity we experience when studying the Torah (the "rain" and the "dew") are analogous to the two stages of the soul’s experience in the afterlife. In the first stage, the soul’s return to its origin in Paradise (the spiritual "Garden of Eden"), it experiences Divine revelation commensurate with the spiritual accomplishments that it completed while alive in its body. In the next stage, the soul’s re-entry into its resurrected body, it will experience Divine revelation beyond anything it could have earned during its lifetime. Therefore, the soul had to be cleansed in Purgatory before entering Paradise, in order to be fit to receive the revelation it has earned, and not all souls merit reaching the higher levels of Paradise, whereas in contrast, we are taught that "all Israel has a share in the World to come," i.e. the Resurrection of the Dead, without regard to their diverse merits.

Nonetheless, as we have noted repeatedly, as we approach the advent of the messianic Redemption, we are granted a taste of this future revelation of the Torah’s inner dimension, especially in light of the fact that all the future revelation of the Torah were implicit within the Torah as it was first given, at Mount Sinai, such that any new revelation of Torah, rather than being a novel innovation, is simply a matter of exposing what is latent within the Torah as it has already been revealed to us. Thus, when we study the inner dimension of the Torah, particularly as it has been expressed through the teachings we know as Chabad Chassidut, by means of which we can understand these sublime ideas thoroughly and thereby internalize them fully, we can experience something of the future resurrection – we can live life on a higher, more spiritually developed level.

This "taste" of the future will then serve both to inspire us to redouble our efforts to hasten the true Redemption, in order to experience the full revelation that will accompany it, and prepare us for this revelation.

(Based on Sefer HaMa’amarim Melukat, vol.1 pp. 457-464, vol. 4, pp. 386-387, vol. 5, pp. 38-40.)
© 2001 Chabad of California/www.LAchumash.org