The Gemara quotes a verse which compares Torah to water (Yeshayah 55:1). The Gemara explains that just as water naturally flows from a high place to a low place, the Torah goes away from those who are "high" (conceited) and remains with those who are humble. The BEN YEHOYADA (in SEFER BENAYAHU) demonstrates an allusion to this concept in the order of the Hebrew alphabet.
The word for the letter "Mem" can be spelled Mem-Yud-Mem, which also spells the word "Mayim," water. Hence, the letter "Mem" alludes to water.
The letter that precedes "Mem" is "Lamed." The "Lamed" is the tallest of all of the letters of the alphabet. The letters that follow "Mem" are "Nun" and "Samech." When spelled out in full, the word "Nun" is spelled Nun-Vav-Nun, and the word "Samech" is spelled Samech-Mem-Chaf. The "hidden" (Nistar) letters of those words (meaning the letters of its written name that are not seen when the alphabetical letter alone is written) are Vav-Nun (of the word "Nun") and Mem-Chaf (of the word "Samech"). Together, these four letters spell the word "Namuch," which is the word the Gemara uses to refer to the humble person to whom Torah flows like water.
Thus, the order of the letters in the alphabet show how water ("Mem") leaves a high place (it turns away from the "Lamed") and proceeds towards the lowly, humble place -- the place which is "Namuch" (which is alluded to in the letters Nun-Samech which follow Mem in the alphabet).
An addition to the Ben Yehoyada's insight may be suggested. The attribute of height is alluded to in the letter "Lamed" in a very different manner than the way the attribute of lowliness is alluded to in the letters "Nun" and "Samech." The height of the "Lamed" is apparent at first glance; the very shape of the letter gives it prominence which is immediately noticeable. In contrast, the lowliness of the "Nun" and "Samech" is apparent only in the letters which are hidden in the words "Nun" and "Samech." Moreover, their attribute of "Namuch" is split between two letters.
These differences allude to the fact that the tall "Lamed" represents the haughty person who always tries to make himself conspicuous and prominent, like the letter "Lamed." The letter's height is reflected in a single letter, which signifies that the haughty person views himself as unique and above everyone else, and he prefers to do things by himself. (This is the reason why the Gemara speaks so sternly about the scholars who "learn by themselves.") In contrast, the person who is "Namuch" is modest and always tries to remain hidden from view (Nistar). Moreover, the word "Namuch" is split into two letters because the humble person does not seek to do things by himself but prefers to work together with others ("two Talmidei Chachamim who sharpen each other...").
The Gemara in Chagigah (15b) explains that the evil Doeg and Achitofel asked four hundred questions on the subject of "a tower that flies in the air." According to one explanation of Rashi, this means that they expounded on the upper part of the letter "Lamed" which looks like a tower that rises over the other letters of the alphabet. Perhaps the Gemara there means to imply that their downfall came about through their arrogant behavior; they identified with the tall "Lamed" rather than with the lowly "Mem" or "Nun-Samech." (M. KORNFELD)


QUESTION: The Gemara says that a day on which rain falls is like the day on which the heavens and earth were created. Even salvation comes on a day of rain.
What makes a rainy day so special? (See Insights to Ta'anis 2:2.)
ANSWER: Perhaps the Gemara refers to the rain which fell immediately after Creation, as mentioned in Bereishis (2:6). RASHI (Bereishis 2:5) explains that even after the world was created, the trees and grasses had not yet appeared on the surface of the earth; they were underneath the surface waiting to grow. When Adam ha'Rishon was created, he saw that the world needed rain. He prayed for rain and the rain came down. At that moment, all of the earth's produce sprouted and the Creation of the world was completed. Accordingly, the final touch of Creation was the coming of the rain which brought about the sprouting of the plants from the earth. Since rain materialized the Creation (which had been only potential until that point), it is considered as great as the Creation itself.
The second statement of the Gemara, that salvation (Yeshu'ah) comes on a day of rain, may be explained in a similar manner. "Salvation" may refer to the final redemption of Techiyas ha'Mesim, as the verse mentions, "Let the earth open and salvation grow from it." (Techiyas ha'Mesim sprouts from the earth; see Insights to Ta'anis 6:1:c.) Even when the time for Techiyas ha'Mesim arrives, the Techiyah does not actually occur until Hash-m sends rain, which then causes the resurrection to begin. Since the rainfall materializes the Techiyah, the rainfall of Techiyas ha'Mesim is considered as great as the Techiyah itself. (M. KORNFELD)