This is a Good Winter.
In Israel, a good winter is defined by how much rain and snow doescome down. The more rain – the better.
Israel is probably one of the only countries in the world that even during an intense national election campaign, every news report also includes statistics about rainfall.
The Torah mentions, over and over again, how rainfall should be seen as a reflection of national behavior.
You don’t have to be a religious Jew to be affected by this. For some, it’s a matter of knowing that the crops will be well watered, for others, the hope that water prices will go down but the bottom line is – there is a lot of rain, everyone is aware of it and – it’s a big deal. Just like the Torah says it should be.
Anyone following the national mood in Israel these days knows that there is a general feeling of optimism: the borders are quiet, we are celebrating our democracy and – there is an abundance of rain (and snow. Even in Dimona!).
Some statistics about the Kinneret and this winter, to whet your appetite (all measurements are metric and based on BSL-below sea level):
Top Red Line – The maximum height the Kinneret can reach -208.8 BSL
Bottom Red Line – No pumping allowed b/c of damage to lake -213 BSL
Black line – Lowest the Kinneret has been (In 2001) -214.87 BSL
Annual average that the lake rises 1.57 meters
Height at beginning of winter -212.435 BSL
Height on January 10, 2013 -211.2 BSL
Gone up so far 1.23 meters
Will go up (without any additional rainfall) 1.98 meters Even if not a single other drop comes down this winter the Kinneret will still rise an additional 2.5cm per day, for 30 day, from the surrounding rivers and streams.
This is already the strongest and best winter since 1991. Keeping in mind that the official “rainy months” in Israel are January-February, there is room for even more optimism.
These are good times to recognize the blessing of Hashem and feel proud at what is happening in Israel these days. May we feel – and be – part of it always.
Good Winter to all of Am Yisrael!