The first hard rains of winter fell this week after months of waiting, causing all of Israel to breath a sigh of relief.
Yaakov Kirschen, author and illustrator of The Dry Bones Blog, pens:
“I took a cab home yesterday, and heavy with thoughts of the terror attack on Mumbai, the missiles out of Gaza, organized crime, the upcoming elections, [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert, and the spreading collapse of the world's economy I said to the driver “What do you think of the current situation?”
He said “We haven't had rain yet. It's the first of December and we haven't had rain yet!”
I knew exactly what he meant. He'd had enough of talking about the current situation.”
Adding proof to the idea that things are slow to change in the Middle East, Kirschen posts a “Golden Oldie” from 20 years ago.
In a post entitled “Interwoven Fate,” Lirun of East Med Sea Peace writes:
“Its dry right now in israel and palestine.. we have had two very dry winters and a third is slowly crackling its way into our region.. this affects everyone.. we all suffer from the shortage.”
Lirun remarks that the drought has brought people together to pray for rain, featuring a video of one such gathering.
Meanwhile, Nicky Blackburn of Israelity recalls bicycling around Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) where she notes the water has receded to a dangerous level. The Kinneret is Israel's largest source of drinking water. Blackburn posts:
“Where has the water gone? And it’s not that we’re seeing any signs of a wet winter to come. On the contrary, the weather in Israel right now resembles, well, a desert… So that’s why Rabbi Shlomo Didi of the Jordan Valley, Ian Clark – the priest of the Scottish church, and Muhammad Dahamshe, the Imam of Kfar Kana, got together to try to ease the situation with a little combined prayer.”
Blackburn quotes Shimon Kipnis, manager of a local hotel, who adds:
“We see how the shoreline is receding and that the water level is nearing the ‘black line.’ The purpose of this event was to unite all the religions and offer a joint prayer to the creator of the universe, that he bless us with a rainy season.”
“Finally… Rain!” exclaimed Israeli Mom yesterday.
“This morning, it was so nice waking up to thick gray clouds covering the sky. It wasn’t too cold, just cool enough to be nice, and everything had that nice scent of fresh rain. It was just a drizzle, so I put on my running shoes and went out for a glorious half an hour, enjoying the fresh colors of the trees and flowers, and even of the red earth on the trails behind our street. Lovely.”
There is nothing that unites us and reminds us of our humanity more than Mother Nature. We are grateful for the blessing of rain in this dry land.