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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

We can teach children to view circumstances as either good or bad.


Today was the first day of rain this season in Jerusalem. As I was passing through a schoolyard of an elementary school where the children were enjoying recess, the drops began to fall.

Unprepared for rain, I immediately ran for cover under an awning, as two childhood chants reverberated in my head:

"Rain, rain go away, come again another day."

"It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring."

I reminisced about the days I spent in summer camp when a "rainy day" meant only one thing: staying inside the cabin… under the covers… in a grumpy mood.

Yet today as the rain began to fall harder, I noticed that I was the only one under the awning. The children were all twirling around in the rain with their hands out – as if gold was falling from the sky.

Don't they realize it's pouring? I thought to myself. Doesn't the water bother them?

I know that today's youth are different than in my day, but this was just too much.

I later got the answer to my question. At home, my three-year-old daughter came running over to me. "Abba, do you want to hear the song I learned today in school?"

Without further ado, to the tune of "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring," she began to sing:

"It's pouring, it's raining,
but we are not complaining.
Rain is a blessing from Hashem,
and we love geshem (rain)."

I was about to say that she got the words all wrong, but I stopped myself with a realization.

Growing up in New York, society fostered the feelings that rain is annoying and bothersome. But in Jerusalem, these children were being taught that rain is a wonderful blessing. (Indeed, the Torah describes Israel as a land that depends solely on rainfall – Deuteronomy 11:11.)

The Hebrew word for “education” is chinuch. Education means to set someone on solid independent footing, to enable him to assume the role he is destined to assume.

A more precise translation of chinuch, however, is “inaugurate.” Parents have an enormous responsibility – and opportunity – to set the stage for many of the feelings and outlooks their children will carry through life.

A child can be taught that circumstances are either good or bad. The more parents see the positive in all aspects of life, the greater the child will be able to appreciate all the amazing aspects of our world.

So is the old man snoring? Or is rain a blessing? It all depends on how you, the parent, make the song rhyme.

October 30, 2011

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Visitor Comments: 14

(13) dorothyfrancesgoldstein, November 3, 2011 9:37 PM

Loving Rainy Days: One of My Mother's Gifts

My grandmother was sad on rainy days and my mother vowed that she would turn them into happy days for me. She always loved the chances to do things we didn't have time for like reading, making tents from bridge tables, even rearanging furniture. It's an attitude I inherited from her and I'm truly grateful.

(12) Elisheva, November 3, 2011 1:51 PM

Our family's version of the song (in NY, no less-- slightly different tune, though)

It's raining, it's pouring, and we love the rain! Rain makes the flowers grow, Rain makes the grass green, Rain makes the fruit grow on trees for us to eat. It's raining, it's pouring, Thank you, HaShem!

(11) Anonymous, November 3, 2011 1:41 AM

What can you tell us about wind, Rabbi?

I'm writing from a place in Alaska where we presently have 60 mph winds and it is FREEZING cold! If you throw a cup of water out, it not only turns to ice, but it splatters in several directions. Can you give us a cheerful thought about the winds coming our way from Siberia? ;-) (I always loved the rain even though I am from Seattle originally. My dad used to sarcastically scream, "CONSISTENCY! WE LOVE CONSISTENCY AND WE HAVE IT!" But I am trying hard to like this wind! LOL)

Eric, November 3, 2011 8:29 PM

Greeting from Norway!

Who loves the summer as much as us who live in the far north, eh? ;-) Did plenty of Army duty here in those conditions, but sometimes a cup of cocoa, a good fire and sitting listening to the storm is just as (just almost!) as a nice summers day... Lived in Soggysunnysoggysunny Seattle for 6-7 years, friend, one of the best places in the world! May you be warm & healthy...

(10) esther, November 2, 2011 12:26 AM

Rabbi Rosman has given us the key to happiness! See the beauty in all things and happiness and simchat chayim are sure to follow!!

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