Welcome! I am Rabbi Jonathan Biatch of Madison, Wisconsin. "Pulpit Perspectives: My Observations as a Congregational Rabbi" is published every two weeks to reflect my observations about life in my congregation and with my members. The opinions expressed here are solely my own. I invite you to join the dialogue!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Observations from My Sabbatical Leave: Needed Rain

KIBBUTZ ADAMIT, ISRAEL – On this lazy Shabbat afternoon, it is rain that is keeping us indoors.  But this rain is absolutely necessary to life here in Israel.  Since Friday morning, and predicted into Monday, this region will log more than two inches of needed rain.
My host family lives on a beautiful mountaintop, and their home is perched on the side of a mountain about 1300 feet above sea level.  As you can see in this photo, this site overlooks the entire bay of Haifa, a city 45 miles away.

But today we’re indoors making soup and small talk, as a blustery and massive series of storm fronts rolls from the west to the east, bringing needed rain to the parched land.  There was the prediction of snow on the Hermon mountain range for today.  In this picture you can see the clouds as we saw them this morning, getting ready to pour.

In a matter of half an hour, the clouds rolled across the mountaintop, and they brought thunder and lightning as they made their way east.

Then the rain came directly through the kibbutz, and the day became dark, mysterious, and eerie.

These storms also brought with them hail, perhaps ¼ of an inch in diameter.  This is not exactly typical of the weather patterns here, but it does make for a beautiful afternoon

At this point, the rain has obliterated any view that we have, and we see only a gray pall hanging over us.  It’s very mysterious and beautiful, cold and powerful, and absolutely necessary for a proper summer growing season.

Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov – A Peaceful Sabbath, and a good week ahead to you!

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