Minute #646: Clouds

“The sky is so blue today,” Goldie said. “And the white fluffy clouds are also beautiful. Yesterday the dark storm clouds made me nervous and I rushed to and fro to get my errands done, fearing a downpour at any moment.”

“I agree that the cottony cumulus clouds today are gorgeous, but in my mind all clouds are beautiful — even storm clouds,” Chanah said. “My teacher said that Hashem always appears to His people in a cloud.”

“I learned that also,” Goldie said. “Maybe I’ll have to think about clouds more so that I develop the right attitude.”

Dovid Hamelech said: “Call out to Hashem with thanks…Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes mountains sprout grass” (Tehillim 147:7–8). Although dark rain clouds seem threatening, they actually are a sign of blessing. Hashem has filled those clouds with refreshing moisture that will wash our planet and also provide the needed hydration for humans, animals and plants. This life-giving moisture is the silver lining around dark clouds.

Hashem appeared to our people in a cloud as we walked through the sea, at Har Sinai and when His presence descended on the Tabernacle. Clouds conceal from view, but at the same time reveal His Providence. Hashem revealed Himself to our ancestors in a cloud to let them know He was watching over them and protecting them from harm.

We have been more detached in our long exile and therefore need constant reminders of His Benevolence. Every time you see a cloud, remind yourself: He’s watching. He’s protecting.

Even storm clouds can evoke comforting thoughts if you have the right attitude.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

The same way an employer is obligated not to cheat his impoverished worker or to hold back his wages, so too is the worker obligated not to cheat his employer by wasting time from work here and there. He must be exceedingly careful to work his full allotted time… and must labor with all his energy, as we find that Yaakov Hatzaddik said to his wives, “Now you have known that I served your father with all my might” (Beresheet 31:6). (Rambam, Hilchot Sechiroot, 13:7)