Friday, October 30, 2009

Rain and Water in Israel

Decades ago, a representative of another country...I don't remember which any longer...came to Israel and toured our land with our prime minister. After quite a bit of time and many miles, the man turned to our leader and complimented him on the amazing job Israel had done to "deforest" the land. In his country, trees covered everything and the only way for people to create cities and homes was to first clear vast areas of land. Something that was time consuming, expensive, and slow.

Many years ago, I lived in a land that gets rainfall almost weekly. Certainly a month would not go by without some rainfall and at times, it was quite plentiful. Snow fell in the winter, rain all year round. Water came from the pipes in our home without thought and at little cost.

If the water was dirty in your cup, you spill it down the sink and fill the glass again. If you took too much, you spilled the rest out. Long showers, baths - whatever. Water was not a consideration, not a thought. There was water today, yesterday and would be tomorrow.

Rain was beautiful, but often inconvenient, wished away for another day. I was raised in a country where we sang, "Rain, rain, go away. Come back another day." Some child and I want to go out to play...and we did.

I moved to Israel and water became something more precious, as it is perhaps meant to be. We don't take it for granted - ever. We are obsessed with how much falls in each area of our country, the state of our national reservoirs. There is water coming out of the pipes today and yesterday and we hope tomorrow. We don't take long showers, baths much less often.

If the water in our cup is dirty, we go over to a plant and pour the water on it. If we can't possibly drink more water from our cup, we find a tree. We soap up our dishes with the water turned off and wash them quickly and all at once. I will often collect the dishwater from the sink and pour it into the garden. Many homes divert their shower water directly to the garden as well.

That's the water situation. As for the rain - we view it as a gift, each and every drop - as it should be viewed. We pray for rain from the holiday of Sukkot, which we just celebrated, until the holiday of Passover in the Spring.

And when it comes, as it did yesterday, we thank God for it. We marvel at it.

"It's miserable out there, thank God."

"Don't forget to wear your coat and find an umbrella. It's really nasty, thank God."

Yesterday it rained and I did something I haven't done in so long. I went outside and just stood in the falling rain. The drops were huge, the downpour a relief from a dry summer in which it never rains, after a dry winter in which it didn't rain enough.

We are hoping this winter will be filled with horrible, wet, nasty days that will replenish the Sea of Galilee, flow through the Jordan River, and bring alive the dying Dead Sea, which is drying up each month. Now is the time when we are filled with hope for what the winter months will bring. At some point, some scientists with suggest that based on predictions and formulations and tests, they expect this winter to be...wet, dry, normal, above, below - all words. What matters are the clouds, the heavens, the drops.

Last night, I stood quietly on the balcony of our new home, slowly getting wet and enjoyed the wet, wonderful gift God has given to this land this day.

May we be blessed with a winter full or rain and growth...and may Hezbollah in the north continue to not want to fight in the winter (and beyond).


joyce said...

Rain is a blessing. We have had drought, and then the wildfires are bad here in Texas. But, this October was one of the wettest ever. We are seven inches above normal, and it is still raining. This is so unusual. Our rye seed sprouted in the front yard, so my husband threw out twenty pounds in the back yard, too. Now our winter yard will be greener than the summer one.

Dina said...

And I don't really like the winter :-)

Caroline said...

Hopefully it rains here in Mauritius. But the authorities control the amount of water flowing. Sometimes we get it all day long sometimes within specific hours.

Belated Happy Rainy Day ! :)

A Soldier's Mother said...

It rained in parts of Israel today and we are expecting another very rainy day tomorrow. Here's hoping. I am such a storm person. I love them - not necessarily driving in them, but storms and such are such a joy for me.

I love the rain and more. Of course, with Elie supposedly hiking up north, I won't complain if he can get some fun outside.

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Findalis said...

May your winter be filled with thunderstorms and so much rain you will start singing: "Rain, rain go away..."

6p00e008d969298834 said...

I am an Australian. We understand about dry. Dry is normal here. Really dry happens a lot. Right now, we're suffering an El Nino, which means...even drier than usual. So we pray for rain; and all those water economies that you describe, we too observe (our bathwater gets siphoned out of the house down to the banana tree and the citrus in the back yard), and we have a big rainwater tank - 2500 litres.

I'll pray for Israel, too; I'll pray for a wet, wet winter, with metres of snow on Mt Hermon, floods in the Jordan, and Kinneret full to overflowing.

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