Reflections on the spiritual message, and blessing, of snow

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Another take can be gleaned from Rabbi Avigdor Miller, of blessed memory, from his classic work, “Awake My Glory,” as cited in the Artscroll commentary on the psalms, explaining “that the comparison is not merely for poetic effect; wool and snow have significant similarities. Wool is noteworthy for its quality of insulation, due to the kinky fiber that imprisons the air; thus woolen garments prevent the body’s heat from escaping. The snowflakes are also shaped in such a way that air spaces are created between them when they fall. The enclosed air is an insulation that acts as a blanket to keep the soil warm, so that the frost does not kill insects, earthworms, bacteria, and fungi that cultivate and enrich the soil. Also, the roots and seeds that are to grow in the spring are protected from the freezing temperatures by the snow.”

Rabbi Miller concludes his unique spiritualization of the snow phenomenon by stating the following observation:

“In addition, the white color of the snow has a very specific function, identical with the function of the white wool. Since white reflects the sun’s rays, the whiteness of the snow slows the melting process, thereby benefiting the plants.” [Pages 286--288]

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch  [The Hirsch Tehillim Revised Edition, 2014, Feldheim Publishers], in his commentary on this verse, teaches us the following:

“This psalm cites the natural phenomenon of water as an outstanding example to show us how the Law of G-d governs and works within the realm of nature, and to demonstrate the unconditional obedience which all things existing on earth give to that Law simply because they are G-d’s creatures. In order that we may see the swift, devoted obedience with which the water submits to the will and Law of its Creator, we are given here a description of the visible changes through which water goes, ready to fulfill His behest in the form of snow, then frost, then ice, and finally again to its original liquid form.” (Pages 1168-1169)

We should also be cognizant that the next psalm, 148;8 also makes reference to snow, and that both these two psalms are recited every single day of the year, without exception.

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