Gemara: Rava said to his attendant: You, who do not know how to determine the times of the Rabbis, should light the Shabbat candles once the sun is at the top of the palm trees. What does one do on a cloudy day? In a city, see a rooster; in a field, see a raven, or see an adani (a plant that follows the sun, like a sunflower).
Simple Solutions for Simple People
Ein Aya Shabbat Chapter B Paragraph 298
Ein Ayah: In all areas of life, the Creator prepared all "measures" that are needed for existence and for spiritual and material sustenance, according to the situation. When someone’s situation is elevated, he will merit more precise parameters with which to reach true matters of which he is in need.
One who lacks the intellectual ability to reach the depths of this level of truth still has broad access to more accessible ways of determining what he needs. These systems suffice, even though they are not as precise as those of the more talented. The most basic light of truth is open to see for all with eyes. This is the significance of the sign that Rava gave for those who do not know the exact halachic end of the day: when the sun is at the height of the top of the date trees, light the candles. "I did not speak the matter from the beginning in a concealed manner" (based on Yeshaya 48:16) – there is not a need for deep and complex calculations.
Good Tendencies in Nature
Ein Aya Shabbat Chapter B Paragraph 299
Ein Ayah: Sometimes even things that should be revealed are concealed from the view of the eyes. In such cases, there are things within nature that can help the sincere person to be saved from mistakes that he might otherwise make in the dark. These use the tendency of good people to be drawn to things that can be learned from positive elements of nature.
The rooster is a kosher animal which has a unique manner of distinguishing between such basic things in nature as day and night. The raven (a non-kosher animal) makes a positive contribution within less than sympathetic surroundings. One can learn much from the abilities of the impure in nature and use this knowledge as an impetus for the pure within nature to function to their fullest.
From the adani we learn that there is a strong tendency within nature to lean toward the sun. This is parallel to the strong thirst within the hearts of Israel based on their nature toward the "sun of Torah" and good actions. This continues unless one removes the purity from within him. This tendency leads the person unless there is some other idea that pulls him in another direction. "The purity of the straight shall lead them" (Mishlei 11:3). "Hashem will be your advisor; guard your legs from being trapped" (ibid. 3:26). "He will lead the humble in justice, and teach sinners along the way. All the ways of Hashem are kindness and truth for those who guard His covenant and His statutes" (Tehillim 25:8-10).
We started with the project of translating and presenting much of Ein Ayah some eight and a half years ago. With this week’s installment, we have completed, with Hashem’s help, the third of the four volumes of Ein Ayah.