I never thought I’d be as happy to see rain as I was this morning! We were scheduled to go on a Nefesh B’Nefesh tiyul (trip) to Neot Kedumim and the event was rained out – but the announcement came after we were already en route to Jerusalem to catch the bus.
Our friend Judy suggested that she drop us off at the Israel Museum so that the trip wouldn’t be a complete wash out, but when we arrived we learned that they don’t open until 10:00 and it was 8:30. Around the corner the Bible Lands Museum sign indicated that they open at 9:30. We had an hour to invest somewhere so Judy dropped us off to enjoy a morning stroll around the Rose Gardens. Within minutes of arrival, before we topped the first set of stairs, the drizzle turned into rain and – despite the fact that we saw a rainbow over Jerusalem and it was drizzling in Ma’ale Adumim when we were getting ready to leave, and I strongly suggested that Michael bring a jacket and at least wear a hat to keep the sun out of his eyes – not all of us had come prepared for rain! I, of course, was already wearing my raincoat and quickly pulled Yisrael’s out of my pocket and slipped it on him while his friend Eliad donned a jacket without a hood or hat.
As the wind picked up we searched for shelter but all the gates were locked and we only had trees to partially block the rain – I thought of all those trees destroyed up north during the past few days by fires – those carelessly and intentionally sparked – and felt both a twinge of sadness for the loss (of life and forests) and appreciation for what we do have. We made our way back down to the street and under a shelter to wait for a bus to take us to the Central station where we planned to regroup and dry off. Many questions crowded my mind during our 15 minute wait… why didn’t God bring the rain days ago to put out the fire? Why did He allow us to reach the point where Israel had to be dependent on other nations (some that are outward enemies, others that are two-faced) to resolve this disaster? In Birkat Hamazon we pray:
Have mercy, Lord our God, on Israel Your people, on Jerusalem, Your city, on Zion the home of Your glory, on the kingdom of the house of David Your anointed one, and on the great and Holy House which is called by Your name. Our God, our Father – look after us and feed us, give us a livelihood and support us, and provide a respite for us – a respite for us, Lord our God, soon, from all our troubles. And please, let us not be dependent, Lord our God, neither on a gift, nor on a loan from a human being, but rather on Your full, open, holy and generous hand, so that we should never feel embarrassed or ashamed.
Yet our government allowed itself to be in a position to not only accept aid from foreign countries, but to also become indebted to the tune of $200,000 per HOUR to the US government for a fire fighting super plane. Why does the US give billions of dollars to our enemies every year, yet charge us for the use of a plane, staff and chemicals to fight a deadly fire raging out of control? Do you think they cared that our fake “peace” partners (the ones they support financially) took full advantage of our dilemma and set off 20+ additional blazes across Israel while we were paying the US by the hour to stop the inferno?
Unfortunately I don’t have the answers to many of these questions, but I do believe that part of the problem stems from the misinformation and venomous lies being spewed and repeated around the world about Israel.
I know only 2 things for certain: 1) our enemies will continue their destruction as long as the Israeli government, self-hating Jews, and Jews who choose to remain in the galut allow them to; and 2) we will continue to plant and rebuild.
I have asked many times for people to stop believing the lies about Israel that the media is shoving down the throats of the Western world. Stop believing the lashon hara in your neighborhood as Jews speak out against Israel. Unless you live here, you really don’t know what’s going on – you only receive the edited propaganda and have no right to judge Israel.
I live in Ma’ale Adumim about 5 miles east of Jerusalem and across the highway from us is the Arab settlement of Al `Eizariya. If you look it up at WikiPedia (and a few Christian sites that believe their religion has a history in that community) you might come to the conclusion that the city is oppressed and poverty stricken and it’s all the fault of those ‘wicked Israelis’! I read claims today that Ma’ale Adumim enjoys “unlimited water” supply while the people across the road (the ones who hate and want to drive us into the sea) are suffering from water rationing. One even reported that the black tanks seen on the roof of Arab homes are for storage of the rationed water – we have the same tanks on our side of the road but they’re white, and guess what they are… solar water heater tanks to help us conserve electricity. I don’t know about water rationing on their side of the road, but on ours we do it voluntarily.
Lies, lies and more lies from the many enemies of Israel. The photo on the left is of the real Al ‘Eizariya taken from my mirpeset today – click on it and look carefully at the enlarged photo. The Arabs over there live in homes nicer and newer than ours and I suspect many were built with US funding. They entertain us many evenings with huge fireworks displays which, according to an Arab co-worker (in a highly paid hi-tech job, not hard labor as you are led to believe by the press) of my husband, are set off during wedding and other life cycle celebrations. They sure do a lot of partying over there.
Back to our tiyul… Despite our Chanukah outing being rained out there were no disappointed murmurs from our crowd. It was an amazing morning as we (including the children) expressed our thanks to Hashem for bringing the much needed rain. It was only natural for the boys since their class has been begging Hashem for rain every morning during Shacharit they saw this rain as an answer to prayer – it was quite real for them. I think it’s safe to say that had we remained in the US, my son would not have been happy about rain during Chanukah vacation – this was an Only in Israel moment. Thank You Hashem.