Wednesday, January 09, 2013

G-d's Gifts, By The Bucketful, B"H

This may seem a bit crazy for those of you who live in climates and locations where water is always plentiful and can be taken for granted.  But Israel is a totally different story when it comes to water.  We have very little natural water for normal use, and it only rains less than half the year.  Traditional agriculture, Biblical and Jewish, revolve around trees and vines, not vegetables. 

This coming Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of the Jewish Month of) Shvat, when we celebrate Jewish agriculture, primarily the "Seven Species."
Deuteronomy 8:8 tells us that Israel was "a land of wheat, barley, grapevines, figs, and pomegranates; a land of oil olives and date honey."
The seven species are:
  • Wheat (chitah in Hebrew)
  • Barley (se'orah in Hebrew)
  • Grapes (gefen in Hebrew), usually consumed as wine
  • Figs (te'enah in Hebrew)
  • Pomegranates (rimon in Hebrew)
  • Olives (zayit in Hebrew), usually consumed in oil form
  • Dates (tamar or d'vash in Hebrew)
In addition, since this is the HolyLand, and G-d controls the rain, there are spiritual criteria He demands from us.  It's written in the Bible that we won't get enough rain if we sin.  Also, rain can be both a blessing and a curse if at the wrong time and place.

Our headlines in the papers, TV and internet news sites revolve around how many centimeters the Kinneret rose this week or month or day and how much rain, and what percentage versus an "average year" have fallen etc.  Insufficient rain and a major part of our economy will collapse, agriculture.  And you can't tell tourists to limit their showers to 30 seconds per day either.

So, here are some recent rain pictures taken while traveling to and from Shiloh, Jerusalem and Sha'ar Binyamin.

without electricity, security gate had to be operated manually

Venice-like canal in Shvut Rachel

Venice-like canal in Shvut Rachel

I wonder what the Arabs are doing in the mountains to cause this "white flooding."

I'm glad I'm not the driver.

Nachal Shiloh filling up.

Nachal Shiloh filling up.


Kathy said...

Wow, looks like you're getting some torrential rains this year! It will be a glorious green spring then! :-)

Batya said...

Kathy, G-d willing. We haven't had a winter like this for a long time.

Lady-Light said...

Yes, we need the water-no question about it-but it also needs to be safe for people. I hope G-d isn't giving us "too much of a good thing."

Meanwhile, I hope my son is enjoying the snow--I don't know how much has fallen in Efrat. Gedera probably doesn't have any. And we have no idea if my daughter's komat karka apartment in Tel Aviv flooded or was damaged by the rains. Ayalon is not far from her place...

Batya said...

LL, no doubt Efrat has more than Shiloh. Hope Rambo's ok.