Friday, December 2, 2016

May It Be For A Blessing...

Here in Israel, the Jewish Holy Land, we take our rain very seriously. There are all sorts of prayers about rain and references to rain in our prayers. This part of the world was not created with an automatic yearlong sprinkler system or reliable irrigation and water sources. More than half the year it doesn't rain at all, and the few natural springs can easily dry up. With proper watering, precipitation, this can be a very fertile piece of real estate.

When we were on shlichut, doing Jewish/Zionist youth work in London, I'd get a kick out of the newscasts which reported on how many minutes of sunshine in London and other cities. Here they report how many millimeters of rain fell in the previous few hours.

The greatest fireman in action!
Heavy heavy rain across Israel now especially in Haifa area where the wildfires were at their largest. #MoridHageshem, Facebook

And after a dry spell, we don't want a long, heavy rain, because there are always lots of car accidents on the suddenly slippery roads. Rain, dust, sand and oil are a bad combination. Also, too heavy a rain on parched soil just wipes away the top soil and causes damage. So, the way the rains have fallen this week is good. First we had a bit of rain, just enough to soften the earth and wipe the dust off of our roads and solar panels, without flooding all the bad stuff (potential pollution) from the fires and now we've received a heavier rain to water the crops, refill fresh water springs and the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, Israel's major water source.

Also here in the Holy Land, our timing and quantity of rains/precipitation are a blessing or punishment from Gd for our, as a People, behavior. Sins cause droughts and floods, while living according to the mitzvot Gd commanded us will bring rain in its season and the best quantities.

And one of the lessons/reminders from Gd about these recent aishtafada fires is that although with modern technology we can purify enough water for agriculture and even drinking, but we can't protect our forests and homes from fire without enough rain. Too many times recently I've read rather sacrilegious stuff about our no longer being dependent on rain for sufficient water. All the damage was a reminder of how much we need the rain that only Gd can give.

As much as I hate having the clothes drying in the living-room, it's a small price to pay for the needed rain. So, let your smile be your umbrella, thank Gd, bundle up and enjoy.


Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach!
May you have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat!

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