Weather: Moisture Brings Gratitude for Life in the Land

Illustration (Image credit: Wix)

There are streams of moisture moving west to east across the Mediterranean (while further south, potential tropical storms head westward off the African coast). There is enough moisture for some rainy looking clouds to produce some light sprinkles.

Looking at the weather forecast maps, it will remain cool through Shabbat and then Sunday afternoon we'll see a bit of a warm up. However, the warm up will arrive ahead of a storm moving across the Mediterranean, which will bring with it moisture at both lower (850 mb), middle (700 mb), and even upper (500 mb) levels by Sunday night. While this doesn't look to be a heavy rain, there is the potential for more than some stray showers, and even for some small puddle forming raindrops.

The storm should be followed by even cooler weather, with temperatures during the rest of the holiday in the mid 20s (mid 70s) during the day, and mid teens (upper 50s, low 60s at night). So, we're getting the new year off to a good fall/winter start.

Jerusalem forecast (click for other forecasts):

Image credit: The Jerusalem Herald

The first night of Sukkot was indeed on the chilly side, and I did, indeed, wear a light jacket. After a very hot summer, it is nice to get some fall-like temperatures, rather than the steamy weather of past Sukkot holidays.

Nevertheless, the next morning my wife entered the Sukkah with sandals rather than shoes or even half boots. When I pointed out that the weather did not accord with her attire, she said she didn't know it was going to be so cold.

Now, this is the person who sleeps an arms length away from a person (me) who actually majored in Atmospheric and Environmental Science, has years of weather forecasting experience, and provides forecasts online in both English and Hebrew -- yet she didn't know. I am not sure what to do about this, but I don't think the English/Hebrew dictionary we have in the house will help.

Well, she did helpfully point out that the clouds are indeed clouds of winter and Sukkot afternoon my son reported that drops of rain fell from the sky.

Having gone through some difficult times recently, it was very nice to receive some good news to start off the new year. The book, The Garden of Emuna by Rabbi Shalom Arush, argues that a person must believe that both good and bad comes from above, and that even the bad (no matter how difficult our predicament) is for our own good.

When I became more religiously observant (and after spending some time in more religious communities in America and some time learning at a yeshiva in Israel), it occurred to me that maybe I should move to Israel.

Why? Because the Torah is about the Land of Israel. Even more important, I am blessed to be alive when it is actually possible for Jewish people to live in the Land of Israel in the State of Israel -- something that was not possible for almost 2000 years. I asked myself: how can I have any belief in G-d and ignore this obvious message to move here.

Still, I doubt that I am at the level of belief articulated by Rabbi Arush; yet, if you ask me if I would go through those difficult times again, I might hesitate to say no. The reason: I was the recipient of so much kindness that it made a very strong impression on me. I really didn't know that people could be so kind. Besides my wife and children who helped me through these times, there were those that came to visit, and those that heard my story (and every time I told it, it receded further into the past, making it a little less painful).

They say that one should live each day as if it is one's last. If you've had the misfortune to try to do so, you could easily say that it's not very practical. However, I can suggest that what is important would be that of the days one lives (hopefully many), one should be blessed that at least some of them should be meaningful and at least some of them should be happy.

Moadim L'Simcha!

Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk.

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...הָרִימִי בַכֹּחַ קוֹלֵךְ מְבַשֶּׂרֶת יְרוּשָׁלִָם הָרִימִי אַל תִּירָאִי אִמְרִי לְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה הִנֵּה אֱלֹקֵיכֶם! (ישעיה  מ:ט)

...Raise your voice with strength, herald of Jerusalem; raise it, do not be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your G-d!"

(Isaiah 40:9)

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