From windy and wet
Winter has arrived.
Jerusalem, Israel, experienced
pouring rain and windy stormy weather last night.
While parts of North America are colder and covered in snow,
the sun is shining in Jerusalem this morning.
I hope those winds do not blow me away,
but we are off to celebrate with friends from Australia.
Wishing all a warm and healthy and restful Shabbat.
The tenth day of tenth Hebrew month,
Asara B’Tevet is a fast day.
It marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem
which culminated in the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE
and the exile to Babylon.
This model of the Holy Temple sits outside the Israel Museum
and this inscribed corner stone from the Second Temple is on display inside.
Another model sits on the roof of the Aish HaTorah Center in the Old City,
with the Dome of the Rock showing in the background.
Thousands of people attended
special prayers for rain held yesterday at the Kotel,
the Western Wall, as Asara b’Tevet was coming to an end.
Farmers are complaining of poor growing conditions
because of the lack of rain and the warm weather.
But the weather was good for weddings this week.
So many weddings,
and each night the blessings ended with
“Soon, Lord our God, may there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem,
the sounds of joy and gladness,
the sounds of the bridegroom and bride…”
The sun set, and the fast was over.
Time to prepare for Shabbat.
From the days of old
to the present,
may there always be singing
in the streets of Jerusalem.