Nature beholds endless beauty and wonders, some of which people will travel significantly to see and pay premiums to experience. Perhaps a waterfront view, a terrace on the park or a view of a desert or canyon. Even rain has its allure - there is something unique about being in a warm home, listening to the rain drops pound the roof above. 

One humble display of nature that usually goes unnoticed is dew, the gentle coat of drops often only visible in the early morning. During these summer months, especially in Israel, dew is the only source of water for most trees and plants (a special prayer for dew is recited during the summer). Dew forms when the air is too humid to allow water to evaporate, much like droplets of water which form on a cold bottle in a warm climate. You probably won’t find many hotels advertising prime access to dew!

In the Torah, however, dew plays an outsized role. The primary blessing which Isaac (the second patriarch of the Jewish people) gave his son Jacob was that he be blessed with ‘the dew of the heavens’. The prophet Isaiah (26:19) refers to dew as where G‑d placed the key to life itself. The Talmud (Ketubot, 111b, according the the version of the Yalkut Shimoni) compares dew to the very essence of Torah and Judaism.

When we zero in on this unusual Jewish focus on dew, one notices a deviation from the typical understanding of dew. Dew is formed on the ground, from water that was already on the ground and could not evaporate. Yet the patriarch Isaac highlighted the ‘dew of the heavens’. Indeed, while most scientific descriptions of dew ascribe its formation exclusively to water content, Encyclopedia Britannica identifies another meaning of dew - one that actually falls from the sky. Despite this dew’s source in the heavens, it is not called rain. Dew is far more subtle, gentle and ethereal.

So, what does all of this mean for us? 

We all want our efforts, investments and ventures in life to bear fruit. We want our investments - financial, emotional, or investments of time - not only to return what we invested, but to turn a profit as well. Like drops of dew forming on their own on the ground, we want our efforts to start producing autonomously.

The Torah has an invaluable lesson for us here. If we want ‘dew to start forming’ on what we choose to invest in in life, there has to be ‘dew from the heavens’ - an investment of the heart, from the deepest and purest depths of ourselves as well.

If we look at what matters to us in life - family, meaning, success, connection - as simple producers of dividends, they won’t produce what they’re truly capable of. If, however, we allow ourselves to rise above the P&L statements and let our souls have a say - permitting ‘dew from the heavens’ to trickle down - the dividends are amplified tremendously.

This was the beauty of Isaac's blessing. He very well knew that what matters most in life is the 'dew on the ground' - real world happiness and success in the realms of family, Judaism and achievement. His very next words to his son, after blessing him with the 'dew of the heavens', were, 'May G‑d bless you with the prosperity of the land'. But he also knew how easily us human beings can get carried away with the 'prosperity of the land'.

This is why Isaac started with the blessing of the 'dew of the heavens'. If we allow the 'dew of the heavens', our inner Jewish Neshamah, our pure, G‑dly spark, to trickle down into - even to direct - our daily pursuits, it won't only bring spiritual meaning and fulfillment into our lives. The 'prosperity of the land' follows soon after. Even Encyclopedia Britannica agrees. 

Rabbi Avrohom