Just a few moments ago, with the placing of the ring on the Kallah’s finger, the Chatan acquired her to be his wife and her acceptance of the ring constitutes a consent to the marriage. When he did this the Chatan emphasized his stipulation that it be kedat Moshe v’Yisrael — in accordance with the laws of Moshe and Israel. Basically this is a reference to the Torah which Hashem gave the Jewish people through Moshe Rabbeinu. Hence, the consummation of the first phase of their marriage known Halachically as eirusin, is contingent on their commitment to a life in accordance with Torah.

Should you want to know what is the benefit of following such a lifestyle, one need not look far. The answer is in this week’s Torah reading of Bechukosai.

The sidra begins with the idyllic blessings that await the Jewish people if they live up to their covenant with Hashem. The Torah says “If you will follow My statutes and observe My commandments and perform them, then I will provide gishmeichem — your rains — in their time.”

The RambanNachmanidies — explains that the specifying of rain is really a broader blessing. Rain, he says, is not only to irrigate crops. It affects the climate and water supply, and, consequently, human health. Prosperity and an abundant supply of physical nourishment is also contingent on sufficient rainfall in the proper time.

According to the Baal Shem Tov, the emphasis of gishmeichem — your rains — is not a limitation, but rather it is related to the word “gashmiyut — physical and material matter. Thus, Hashem promises that the dedication to the spiritual, that is, meticulous Torah observance — is a source by which one merits all gashmiyut — material requirements in abundant measure.

The Torah then concludes “I will provide shalom — peace — in the land.” Rashi writes that “by climaxing the above blessings with that of peace, the Torah teaches that peace is equivalent to all other blessings combined. If there is no peace, there is nothing.”

The knowledge of all the benefits in store for you, my dear Chatan and Kallah, should facilitate your absolute adherence to the covenant that both of you have entered together that your future life should be kedat Moshe v’Yisrael — in accordance with the law of Moshe and Israel — our holy Torah.

While we are on the subject of gishmeichem — your rains — I would like to bring to your attention a Gemara that compares rain to the Chatan and Kallah.

The Gemara (Berachot 54a) says that “On rain and on good tidings one recites the berachah of hatov v’hameitiv — Blessed are You... Who is good and does good.”

In countries where rain is sparse, the rainfall that brings an end to a period of public distress over the lack of rain, engenders sufficient joy to warrant the recitation of the special berachah of hatov v’hameitiv. This berachah connotes that something has occurred which is not only a benefit for a specific individual, but also good and beneficial for many.

The Gemara asks “When does one recite the blessing over rain?” (i.e. how much rain needs to come down for the blessing to be made). Rabbi Abahu said, “Misheyeitzei Chatan likrat Kallah” — “After the groom has gone out to meet the bride.” That means enough rain has fallen to form a puddle on the ground, and drops in the puddle extend towards the drops of rain that continue to fall. An alternative explanation is that streams of rain water run in the streets and one stream meets another coming from another direction.

As interesting as this sounds, it still begs an explanation: What is the intent of describing an abundance of rain by comparing it to a groom going out to meet his bride?

Permit me to share with you a possible explanation.

The Gemara (Bava Batra 16a) relates that Job lived a large part of his life in suffering. When he accused Hashem of mistakenly confusing him with someone else who deserved his punishment, Hashem responded, “I created many drops of rain in the clouds, and for each and every drop I created a channel of its own so that two drops will not issue from a single channel. For if two drops would issue from a single channel the resulting torments would turn fertile earth into clay and the earth would not yield produce. I do not confuse one drop with another; would I confuse you with someone else?!”

While on one hand, this demonstrates the unique individuality of each rain drop, nevertheless, they are considered a blessing, only after the individual drops of rain join together on earth. When one stream of rain water meets and merges with the others or when a single drop of rain make space for the others, this is a scene that requires the recitation of a blessing.

A Chatan and Kallah up until the Chuppah are two separate individuals. They come from different walks of life. Each has their own nature, character and thinking. When the Chatan leaves the Chuppah and goes to meet the arriving Kallah, (this is still practiced in some communities — Rokeach #353) at that moment all the individuality and separateness disappears and the two merge and become one entity. When the previously individual new drops become one, we bless Hashem Hatov ve’hameitiv — Who is good and does good!

It is my fervent wish and prayer that also you two raindrops who are merging and melding now into one will remain that way throughout all of your married life. And all of us to whom you are so endeared will praise Hashem Hatov Vehameitav — for the good He did to you and also for good he did for your families and the Jewish community by granting us the pleasure of having a married couple like yourselves in our midst.