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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

The Raindrop

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Long ago, when I was a kindergarten teacher at a Jewish day school, one of my favorite parshiyot to work on with my students was Parshat Noach. We used to make a Teyvah(an ark) in our classroom and children would bring in their stuffed animals and we would make an animal parade leading to the ark. The children would paint a big rainbow which we would hang on the walls and it would light up the room with colors for months.

In reality, Parshat Noach is a difficult Parashah to read and to fathom. The evil in the world, God's decision to destroy that world and begin again is very disturbing and in reality, probably not a great story for kids to read and learn from. I guess of the two stories presented in Parashat Noach, there are more tangible lessons to take from the story of Babel and the mixing of languages. This is a story that we can understand, and perhaps is happening in our very day. In this country in the year 2020 people have a difficult time understanding each other's language and the results are not too different from Babel. We don't understand each other's language and we need to beware that when we don't understand each other, things break and once broken are difficult to repair.

These two poems are for Parshat Noach. The second poem, Rainbows is meant to complement the first poem, A Raindrop.

The Raindrop

I am a raindrop

I carry no shape, harbor no grudges,

I merely fall, land, and rise again

I was created with my sisters at the beginning of Creation

I wanted to be created for good and not as a weapon of destruction

I scream as I fall, knowing that my sisters and I will kill

We will splash down and join with each other, creating a giant river

We will swell and swell and cover the earth

We will join hands and huddle together and drown life with our bodies

But we will not do so willingly

We do not wish to destroy

This is not why we were created

The Flood is a river of sorrow that envelopes the earth

Each raindrop a rebuke, a regret, a warning not heeded

Each of us carries the sorrow of a God who created us

A God who was disappointed and angry

A God who wanted to start again

My sisters and I do our jobs

We fall in great numbers and cover humanity like a blanket

We drown out evil, but also the mothers, the fathers, the babies, the old

the insects, the animals, the birds

We hide our eyes as our numbers spread

Too many sorrowful raindrops to count

We are not happy, we do not celebrate destruction

The winds shimmy among us as we spread, as we cover a mistake

Together we sway, creating giant waves of sorrow

As we join hands, my many sisters, we erase a world

But we are ashamed of our work

Sorrow and shame drip from us

Farewell creation, farewell imperfections, farewell evil

With our heads bowed we have completed our mission


Without endings there are no beginnings

Without struggle there is no ease

Without evil there is no good

Without mistakes there is no forgiveness

Without darkness there is no light

Without rain there are no rainbows

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