Much is usually reported about Israel, but little is talked about Israel’s National Obsession – rain.
Israel is blessed with only two natural resources – its people and the sun. So when it starts raining, really raining, this becomes national news. It has been cold and wet in Israel these past few weeks (beginning in the middle of January) with the Negev desert area receiving 100 percent of its annual rainfall in just a few days. Israel was suffering from a serious drought after several winters with little rainfall. This “manna from heaven” is wet but warmly welcomed.
The hourly news during the winter months often begins with an account of the latest water levels in Lake Kinneret. This news item usually supersedes other domestic and foreign stories. Up to and including the first few days of February, the water level is thought to have risen more than three feet above the black line (the level at which withdrawing more water could cause environmental damage to the Galilee and all Israel), but the precise level was not known. Water Authority officials responsible for these critical measurements were on strike. Fortunately, their strike ended late last week and it was reported that the water level had indeed risen nearly one meter (about 3 feet).
While this past weekend we braced ourselves for a huge storm, on Mount Hermon about one and a half feet of snow actually fell. Israelis are now wishing and praying that they can remain obsessed with this national pastime a few weeks longer!