In the parshah of Eikev, we have the second paragraph of the Shema. In it, G‑d says: “And I will give your land’s rain in its time.”1 Rashi2 explains, “And I will give your land’s rain,” to mean that G‑d is saying to the Jewish people: “You did what was upon you, I will also do what is upon Me.” Because we do what G‑d wants and He will do His part—by giving us the rain we need.

Rashi generally comes to explain difficulties in the simple meaning of the Torah. What difficulty in this verse is Rashi clarifying?

In a previous parshah, Bechukotai, G‑d says: “And I will give their rain in their time.”3 The question on our verse is: What is the difference between the blessing of rain in Bechukotai and the blessing in Eikev? Rashi explains that in Eikev it means, “You did what was upon you, I will also do what is upon Me.” (You did just what was asked of you, so I will keep my end of the bargain and send the natural rain that you need.) However, in Bechukotai, the blessing is beyond the natural, as we see in the continuation of the blessing, “and the tree of the field will give its fruit.”4 Rashi5 explains that this refers to trees that don’t normally give fruit. In the future, they, too, will give fruit. This is not natural; rather, it’s above the natural.

Why is the blessing in Bechukotai greater? It comes as a reward for Im bechukotai tailaichu (“If you will go in My statues”).6 Rashi7 explains this to mean toiling in Torah. Toil means going beyond your norm, putting in effort that is beyond your nature, so the blessing G‑d gives is also beyond nature.

How does Rashi know that the blessing in Eikev is within nature and not above nature? Because the verse says, “And I will give your land’s rain.” The rain is the land’s—earthly rain within nature. In Bechukotai, G‑d says, “and I will give their rain,” meaning the Jewish people’s rain, and Jewish people are above nature.

How does this blessing of rain manifest itself? In Eikev, Rashi8 explains the word b’ito (“in its time”) to be the nighttime, so we won’t be bothered.9 In other words, we won’t be bothered by the rain during the day when we are working in the field, but the rain will be the natural amount necessary for the fields to produce its crop. In Bechukotai, Rashi10 explains the word b’itam (“in their time”), at the time that it is uncommon for people to go out like Shabbat eve (Friday night). Meaning that it will rain one night a week, and with that small amount of rain the fields will yield their full potential, which is beyond the natural.

The blessing in Bechukotai is greater because our effort is greater.

We need to strive for the greater blessing. It is not enough for us to get by with what comes natural to us. G‑d expects more from us, to go beyond our nature, to toil in Torah and mitzvahs, to go the extra mile.

In a way, doing just enough, just what is in our nature, is not an accomplishment. When we go beyond our nature, we’ve accomplished. G‑d wants us to go beyond our nature, and when we do that, He showers us with blessings beyond the natural.11

Every day I see this as my wife, Dina, goes beyond herself to care for our family and to give to others. I used to do a lot for our family, but now I am stuck in bed, and it has all fallen on her shoulders. It is a daily struggle for her, but she finds a way to do it.

Through tears and love, she supernaturally does it all. I am amazed by her every day; she is a Jewish mother, a miracle and my hero.

On top of that, she goes all over giving talks, strengthening people, lifting their spirits, and filling them with emunah (“faith”) and bitachon (“trust”) in G‑d. Many don’t know that she has terrible stage fright, but she fights through it because she knows that this is what G‑d wants from her. I find that amazing. I am in awe of her.

We all have it in us to go beyond ourselves to do what G‑d wants. He created us to do just that, and when we do, that brings supernatural blessing.

May our efforts and toil, going beyond the natural, bring the greatest blessing of all: the coming of Moshiach. May he come soon.