What is Life-giving?

Elul Day 20, continued….

Today I used the word "life-giving" in a conversation to describe a particular quality of care and comfort. I was surprised by the word, as it is not my usual vernacular. As I heard myself say it aloud to him, I was noticeably surprised, and then I felt even more acutely aware that I was surprised. 


imparting, or having the ability to impart, life or vitality; invigorating; vitalizing: life-giving love and praise. Animate, animated, breathing, generative, invigorative, live, quickening; the words crucial, essential and vital cannot be qualified (i.e. cannot be more or less) 

I asked him if there was a particular prayer or reading to invoke that life-giving, generative, vitalizing energy, and he said,

I think the bracha (blessing) for life-giving may be "mashiv ha'ruach u'morid geshem." It is the blessing we are about to start saying in daily prayers for the fall.  It means the One who restores the wind and makes the rain fall, but there is really a double meaning as mashiv (restore) has spiritual life-giving implications and ha'ruach means both wind/breath and spirit/soul. 

I find great comfort in the idea of blessing the source that provides much needed rain and wind/breath for parched soil and parched souls.  

How many of us feel deprived, depleted, drained or despairing?  What could provide nourishment for that emptiness?  What life-giving resources are already available right now, just waiting for us to open our hearts and hands?  

Storm Heading For The Beach

God give us rain when we expect sun.

Give us music when we expect trouble.
Give us tears when we expect breakfast.
Give us dreams when we expect a storm.
Give us a stray dog when we expect congratulations.
God play with us, 
turn us sideways and around.

~ The Prayer Tree by Michael Leunig