Kfar Blum and Tel Aviv Come in Second

Kfar Blum and Tel Aviv have tied for second, in terms of receiving the yearly amount of rain. As I predicted before this was easy to anticipate.

Zfat received a lot of rain also – and is now at 98%, and we are only one day into the three days of rainstorms that are predicted. It could go over the top tomorrow.

The biggest surprise though is the whopping amount of rain that fell in Jerusalem. Yesterday 51mm of rain fell, and today it is already up to over 30mm, with 15 hours to go…..Jerusalem is at 89%, and could go over the top either tomorrow or on Shabbat.

The Kinneret has risen 9 centimeters, and is just 2 centimeters short of last year’s high. The rain is still falling, and the snow that fell in the north of the Golan and the Hermon will eventually melt and rush into the streams that feed the Kinneret.

On a local note, our yishuv is located north of a wadi (dried stream-bed) called Nachal Shiloh (we are at the very western part). There is a section where the road crosses the wadi, and once in a decade or so, the road floods. The road flooded today.

Thank you Hashem for your blessing of rain!


More Alike than We Realize

When the news day is boring, the journalists like to spice things up by focussing on our differences. After all, you can always find some story about Jews fighting amonst themselves, and sometimes it makes for great copy.

So it is easy to forget, at least in Israel, that we have more in common with our fellow countrymen than we think.

This study shows that we believe in many of the same things, even if our behavior is not exactly the same. I was surprised and pleased at some of the findings. Even though “only” 22% of Israelis define themselves as “religious” (7% Charedi and 15% religious), 80% believe in G-d and 65% believe that Torah and mitzvot are a divine order. 72% think that praying can improve a person’s situation, and 80% think that good deeds are rewarded.

The numbers of Israeli Jews who believe that it is extremely important to mark milestones in life with traditional Jewish ceremonies is very high. Brit milah (circumcision) gets 94%, shiva (the seven days of mourning) gets 92%, and 91% believe in bar mitzvah.

I find these statistics very reassuring.

Jameel Nails It

The Muqata blog has an excellent post about the recent violence by out-of-control “hilltop youth” against IDF soldiers. Go over and read for yourself.

Katyusha Rockets Fired At the North of Israel

Four katyusha rockets were fired at the northern part of Israel late last night. The exact location has not been disclosed yet. The IDF responded with fire into southern Lebanon.

I sincerely hope I do not have to start counting rockets again….especially on two fronts….

The Power of a Song

The following music video “We are the Children of Oslo – 1993” is amazing. For those of you who are familiar with Israeli culture I don’t need to explain – go watch and enjoy. For those not familiar you can go here to see the words and English translation of the original song. The original song tries to squeeze the hearts of Israelis who long for peace (as we all do), but it is used to push the “peace now” agenda by many. The “take-off” explains why this sentimentality can lead to tragedy, as we all saw since 1993.

War in Israel, October edition

Update: 20:15 A grad rocket fired into Ashkelon has injuried one seriously, one lightly. Mortar shells fired into Eshkol region. Beersheba schools will be closed tomorrow.

19:30 Saturday night: The terrorists in Gaza are at it again. They have sent more than 20 rockets into southern Israel in the past day. The local councils are now deliberating whether school will open as usual tomorrow due to the security situation.

The IAF hit a terrorist target in Gaza in response, killing five terrorists and wounding 11. One of the terrorists killed was responsible for “engineering and production” – of rockets, of course. What goes around comes around….

Maybe It’s Connected?

We are almost at the end of the month of November – and according to the Hebrew date Chanukah is next week – but we haven’t had any rain here in Israel yet. The farmers are beginning to despair, and even people who do not depend on water for their livelihood feel the lack.

Orthodox Jews (and even the secular ones, here in Israel) know that rainfall is dependent on G-d’s will. All of the technical tricks don’t really work – and we can do very little except pray and look to the sky anxiously.

I can’t help but feel that G-d is angry at us.

Looking at some of the headlines – I don’t have to wonder why. Faking ID cards in order to cheat the government and sexual abuse by members of the police department are just two examples.

On the other hand I know of many truly righteous people – right in my own backyard. I guess we just need to pray a bit harder….

HH Is Up

The Rebbetzin’s Husband had this week’s edition of Havel-Havalim here.

As Long As You Live You Can Mend…

“As long as the candle burns, you can mend…”

These are some of the words to one of my favorite Udi Davidi songs, and it is especially appropriate for the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh HaShana (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Enjoy!

Where Are Their Families?

Since the flotilla incident earlier this week I have been waiting, and with each passing day I am more and more confused. I’ve been waiting for the families of those killed on the flotilla to scream and cry on live television and demand their loved one’s bodies.

Whenever there is an attack in Israel, the first thing reported (after the family is notified, of course) is the names, ages, and family status of those killed. Then comes the interview with a family member and coverage of the funeral.

L’havdil (as opposed to) when a terrorist is killed while attempting an attack, the same thing happens – except there is usually pictures of him dressed up armed to the teeth, and the tearful family boasts about the newest shahid in the family.

Now, according to the left, the people on the flotilla were “peace activists”. Which means to me that they are somewhat normal people with families and friends. So why is it there are no families and friends angrily demanding the release of the bodies?

Perhaps because those killed weren’t really activists at all, but mercenaries that were on the ship with no ID? The IDF found them wearing bullet-proof vests, holding thousands of Euros, and found shell casings that didn’t match IDF weapons on board.

Right now Israeli intelligence is probably doing forensic tests on the bodies and attempting to make IDs. Pretty soon we will hear from them who exactly these people were. I very much doubt they will turn out to be starry eyed innocents out to save the world.

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