1. [Before the evening service, it was announced that, from this service until Pesach, we include the request for “dew and rain” in our prayers.]

This year is unique in that we begin making these requests on a Tuesday, the day on which the expression “And G‑d saw that it was good” is repeated twice. Our Sages associate this with a twofold good, “Good to the heavens,” and “Good to the creatures.” The positive significance of the present time is enhanced by the influence of the month of Kislev and that of the present year, תש"נ, “a year of miracles.”

On the surface, the question can be raised: Why does this request mention dew? Our Sages teach that “Dew is never withheld.” It descends throughout the year and therefore, even in the summer, we praise G‑d for granting dew. There is no need to wait for a specific time of the year when it begins to descend.

The concept can be explained as follows: In contrast to rain which is dependent on man’s service — in Kabbalistic terms “an arousal from above that is dependent on an arousal from below” — dew refers to an “arousal from above” (an expression of G‑d’s kindness) that is not dependent on the deeds of man. (Therefore, it is never withheld as above.) Nevertheless, within that category, there are, however, two levels: one level which is intended to arouse a response from man, and one level which totally transcends man’s service, above all connection to “an arousal from below.”

It is the second level which we request in our prayers. Though this level transcends entirely our service, we still make a request for dew. This request is significant for it implies our preparation to receive this revelation which will be revealed only when the world is in a complete state. To quote the Zohar, “The Holy One, blessed be He, only rests in a place of perfection.”

The above can be connected to this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Vayeitzei which describes Yaakov’s journey from Beersheva to Charan [“the place in the world which aroused (G‑d’s) anger”]. This journey is symbolic of — and grants the potential for — he service of a Jew in this material world. The soul descends into this material world in order to transform it into a dwelling for G‑d.1

Thus, while Yaakov was in Charan, he established his family of twelve sons,2 the progenitors of the twelve tribes. Indeed, though he raised his family in Charan, all his sons were righteous as opposed to Avraham and Yitzchok who gave birth to Yishmael and Eisav respectively.

Yaakov received the potential for this service from the blessings he received from his father before he set out. Chassidus explains that these blessings were of a uniquely high level.3 Through this service, he attained a high level as the verse states, “I will return in peace to my father’s house.” “In peace,” בשלום in Hebrew can be read as ב שלום, “two levels of peace,” “Peace to the near and the far,” the latter term referring to Baalei Teshuvah, those who come close after being far-removed.

“My father’s house” is also an allusion to the Messianic redemption which shares a special connection to Yitzchok and his service.

Our Sages explain that “the most important ‘offspring’ of the righteous are their good deeds.” Thus, Yaakov’s service in raising his “offspring” in Charan grants potential for every Jew to raise “offspring” — good — deeds in the world, elevating the world and bringing it to a complete state.

This is particularly true at present. Since we are in the moments directly preceding the Messianic redemption, G‑d grants us special powers to receive the powerful revelations that are being drawn down at present. This can be seen in the “spreading of the wellsprings of Chassidus outward.” In the present age, many Chassidic texts and discourses have been printed that, in previous generations were available only to the Rebbeim or to a select few whom the Rebbeim showed these texts. At present, particularly, in the last few years, these texts have become available to the public.

Even the situation in the world at large appears to indicate that the Messianic redemption is approaching. The political systems of the world powers are toppling and yet this is being done, without bloodshed, in a manner of peace.

May we see a full expression of peace in the last moments of exile and may we proceed speedily to the Messianic redemption. May it be now, immediately.