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Rain is mentioned commonly in the Torah, G'mara and prayers. And it's viewed as a blessing in Judaism. But what about snow (שלג)? If it is, what's its meaning?

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    An Israeli told me once that "Rain is an immediate blessing; Snow is a blessing which rewards you in the future. We need both." – DanF Jan 26 '16 at 17:20
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/4898 – msh210 Jan 26 '16 at 17:36
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    I edited the question post (just now) and only then noticed that it has upvoted answers answering the question that I edited out of it. I guess I should revert my edit -- but then the question is way too broad. (I'd edit it to restrict to the Tanach, since that's what the answers deal with, but it explicitly mentions later books.) Aargh. – msh210 Jan 26 '16 at 17:41
  • See also chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/27112894#27112894 et seqq. – msh210 Jan 26 '16 at 17:57
  • @msh210 I'm lost :-# What version am I seeing now (1:24 EST)? – DanF Jan 26 '16 at 18:24
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The Gemara in Taanit 3b says,

אמר רבא מעלי תלגא לטורי כחמשה מטרי לארעא שנאמר (איוב לז, ו) כי לשלג יאמר הוא ארץ וגשם מטר וגשם מטרות עוזו

Snow is beneficial to the mountains as fivefold rain to the earth, as it is said, For he saith to the snow, ‘Fall thou on the earth’; likewise to the shower of rain and to the showers of His mighty rain.

See also the collection of sources in Aspaklaria.

  • But why? Rain benefit plants, animals and humans. It can give life to arid places and without it life can't exist. But what benefit does snow gives to a mountain? Sure, it looks nice, but how could it be five times as beneficial than rain? – Gabriel12 Feb 7 '16 at 15:29
  • Snow on a mountain melts and provides water for the land below. – wfb Feb 8 '16 at 16:25
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The easy way to find the answer to this kind of question is to search a concordance. Here is an online concordance.

A search for שלג reveals that it is used on two occasions in the Torah (Exodus 4:6 and Numbers 12:10), both to describe a tzara'as affliction as a particular shade of white.

The word also occurs in various places in Tanach, which the concordance shows.

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    Sorry, but the question you answered ("list everywhere snow is mentioned in the Torah") was not actually asked and, had it been, would have been way too broad. So this is not really an answer. But see my comment on the question post. – msh210 Jan 26 '16 at 17:39
  • Sorry. I marked this as the correct answer by mistake. It's great and talks about snow's references in the Torah. But I need an answer that includes the meaning of snow, even if it implies getting into a little of Kabbalah or Midrashim. – Gabriel12 Jan 26 '16 at 17:48
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See Shemot 4:6 and Bemidbar 12:10. There is also reference to frost in Shemot 16:14

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    Sorry, but the question you answered ("list everywhere snow is mentioned in the Torah") was not actually asked and, had it been, would have been way too broad. So this is not really an answer. But see my comment on the question post. – msh210 Jan 26 '16 at 17:39
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As stated above, the 2 Torah places are Shemot 4:6 and Bemidbar 12:10. In both situations, the term is used to compare the color of tzara'at, so the Torah is not using this word in any other context.

Rashi on Exodus 4:6:1 (excerpt):

מצרעת כשלג. דרך צרעת להיות לבנה (ויקרא יג ד) ואם בהרת לבנה היא

My Translation:

It is the way for tzara'at to be whiteas it says )Vayikra 13:4) If it is a white scab...

Rashbam on Leviticus 13:9:1:

נגע צרעת - שיהיה מקום הנגע בשר לבן, כדכתיב: מצורעת כשלג, כך נקרא הנגע כשהוא לבן

My translation:

That the place of the affliction has white flesh, at it says "White as snow". That is what the affliction is called when it is white.

So, while the word שלג does mean "snow", the Torah does not use it as a blessing, but only in terms of its description, i.e. "white".

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