Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Counting Your Blessings - Day 25

I'm going to want to use this blessing again and again, hopefully, in the coming 75 days and yet, yesterday reminded me again of a most special blessing in Israel.

I grew up in New Jersey where it rained almost weekly. The truth is, I have always loved the rain - I would choose to walk in the rain often simply for the wonderful feel of it.

This is Davidi...picking
blueberries...he was
4 years old.
I can't say that I ever thought of rain as a blessing outside Israel but when you live here, you understand that water does not always come in an endless supply. We are asked, and we do, try not to waste water on a daily basis. If we peel a pot full of potatoes and keep the in water as we work, we pour the water in our garden, rather than down the drain. We close the water while we soap up during showers. We close the water when we brush our teeth.

Yesterday, as I was driving to my client's office - it rained just a bit. The radio announced it; the people around me smiled. I saw one person open his car window and put his hand out to catch a drop; I almost did the same.

Rain is always a blessing here in Israel. People will say things like, "it's supposed to be miserable, thank God." Even on the radio, the newscasters will express such joy and such gratitude.

So today's blessing is for the first rainfall...tiny though it was. We are all hoping that it is a sign that this year the skies will open and pour blessings upon Israel, the the seas will fill, the rivers run wide.

This is a very special year - it is the Shmitta year, that began just a few days ago with the beginning of the new year. Shmitta comes every 7 years - and reminds us that we are truly an ancient people. During Shmitta, we let the land rest, as we rest each week on the seventh day.

So this year in Israel, crops will not be planted, what grows naturally is free for anyone to take. The land will rest...and God willing, the rain will fall. Blessings from the land or more accurately, blessings of the land.

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