Snow in Jerusalem

snowman 1:10:13 snowy scene

     Chaim and the Snowman                             Snowy scene                                        

[God] lays down snow like fleece, scatters frost like ashes. [God] tosses down hail like crumbs — who can endure His icy cold? (Psalms 147: 16-17)

For those who remember my first post, you may recall that I made fun of Chaim’s obsession with the weather report on the plane’s t.v. screen as we landed, rather than minding the actual scene outside our plane window.

As you can tell, however, I have also become obsessed with Israel’s weather. It has kept us indoors far too often this past week, and today was no exception. EVERYTHING in Jerusalem shut down. My UJA teaching gig was cancelled yesterday in anticipation of the snow (though rescheduled for Sunday), schools were closed, and when we got up this morning thinking we would spend the day at the Israel Museum, we found the walkways far too treacherous (no one has shovels  — and Jerusalem stone, out of which many sidewalks — and buildings — are made, is quite slick). We tried walking in the middle of the road, but even that was just too slippery.  We would have compromised on our “walk everywhere we can” rule, but found that no busses or cabs were running, there being no snowplows to clear the roads! I imagine that few people got to work. Though we were able to buy a newspaper and shop at the local market, most stores (and even the post office) were closed. For those of us who live in the northeast, the idea of a whole city shutting down in the face of a few inches of snow is humorous.

When we headed home from our little outdoor adventure, we saw another tree and electric wire downed by the wet snow, and sure enough, came home to no electricity for the second time in a week. This time, however, it was up and running within two hours as opposed to the seven we waited the other day.

BUT WAIT: Ironically, as I was writing my post an hour and a half ago, our electricity went out yet AGAIN, now the third time within a week. We are currently down the road at Cafe Aroma, after ascertaining that the problem did not reside in our apartment alone. We went door-to-door in the building and found that some of the apartments had electricity, some didn’t — weirdly, there are multiple grids serving the nine different apartments in the building.

We are hoping for better walking weather tomorrow (I can’t abide “His icy cold” much longer) — we need to replenish our produce supply at Mahane Yehuda,  and we are scheduled for an 11 AM tour of the excavated tunnels under the Wailing Wall. Shabbat starts at around 4 PM, so I am hoping I will have time to post about our day’s adventures beforehand.

One more thing: I can refer you now to more information about the Hamsa group of young Muslims and Jews (from both Jerusalem and Long Island) who were meeting in Jerusalem this past week. I was excited to discover that their program is partly funded by UJA Federation of New York, the same agency that funds my position in spiritual care and much of the Jewish programming at the social service agency where I work. You can read more about the Hamsa group in general and about their experience in Jerusalem at,  an article by my colleague Rabbi Ron Kronish. (He is the same man, director of the Inter-religious Coordinating Council, who brought the Kadi to Congregation Kol HaNeshama last Shabbat morning, as written about in the post “Shavuah Tov 1.”)

L’hitraot/see you later!

P.S. For more news about this storm (the most snow Jerusalem has seen in 20 years), go to We cracked up reading that Mount Hermon, the only ski resort in Israel, CLOSED during the snowstorm. Chaim remarked that since skiing is their business, shutting down during a snowstorm is like a synagogue shutting down for the High Holy Days!

Tevet 29/January 10, 2013


2 thoughts on “Snow in Jerusalem

  1. Wow, Pam! I felt so ” in the know” this morning when it was on the cover of the Times. It snowed when I was studying there–Chanukah 1994. Amazing.

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