Chronicles from Home         

Part  12


February 18, 2004


Some of you asked me if everything here is as intense as it seems in my
chronicles.  Well apparently the answer is yes, judging by the weather
conditions we had over the past Shabbat.

We just had the most amazing snowstorm I have ever experienced in my entire
life -- I mean, my life before Los Angeles.  Even my Oregonian husband
couldn't believe his eyes, ears and heart.  HaShem proved to us once again,
as if it was necessary, how great are His wonders.

It's not that amount of snow on the ground was anything to speak of.  It is
just the way the "sound and light" show evolved.  It started 15 minutes
after walking our cousin Howie to the door after a nice Shabbat lunch.  I
was without a jacket and I told him that it was very doubtful in my mind
that there will be any snow that day.  How arrogant of me.  (To my defense,
I must confess that I grew up with a father who is a meteorologist and who
told me almost everything about last minute changes in Cumulus, Nimbus or
whatever-cloud-us that could spoil any predictions he had previously made!)

The moment I turned around after saying goodbye to Howie, some snow flakes
started to fall.  And, as almost everything else is this country, it just
couldn't be a regular snowstorm.  We had lightning.  We had thunder.  We
had winds arm wrestling the Jerusalem stones.  (I am still not sure who
won.)  I decided by 4 AM to put my head under my pillow, after having
reciting practically every single Bracha of my siddur proclaiming the
wonders of HaShem!

Any attempt on my part to describe the level of excitement of our children
on Sunday morning will fail.  The snow was indeed beautiful.  The fact that
schools were closed added (a lot) to their delight.

Yes, my friends, nothing is mild here.  The rain is wetter, the sun is
warmer, the storms are louder and the winds are beyond description!  Even
earthquakes are different.

I was at a shiur where Dr. Avivah Zornberg was talking about Matan
Torah.  She was describing the quacking of the Earth and right then, I
started to feel a very familiar tremor coming from under my feet.  Could it
be?  Here, in Israel? The time I spent reassuring myself didn't last more
than a second. The shock was pretty violent and some ladies got very
nervous.  I don't know what happened in my head, considering that I am
rather shy and keep a low profile at those shiurim, but I got up, told
everybody to stay calm.  After all, I came from L.A., right?  The shiur
went on and I started dreaming about Matan Torah again, with new insights
regarding its physical aspects.  When I thought afterwards about the
earthquake, I got scared.  I didn't have such a thought in mind when I
decorated our house.  (Since then I have felt that I had to reorganize the
shelves, frames and tall vases the way I did in LA.)

We all know that Eretz Israel is different from any other country.  It is
one of the components that complete a Jew.  There is a special relationship
between the Land and the Jew.  I learned it before, but I know it now.

The sky, the earth, the trees are all telling us the wonderful story of the
Creation of the World.  Each raindrop is precious and is a world in
itself.  Each plant that grows, accomplishes a divine mission.  It is a
true concept everywhere, but here it is reality.  It is said that this Land
will accept to be cultivated only by Jews.  What better proof could there
be than driving South, along the road to Eilat, and see growing in the
desert, trees and flowers.  Even the forlorn shores of the Dead Sea don't
look so desolated anymore. Who could have guess 50, 100 or 1,000 years
ago?  What a fabulous love story between Man and Nature.

The Land waited for us faithfully, not letting anybody else touching
Her.  We came and a miracle happened.  Those who died in the swamps,
shivering from Malaria, fought for every single tiny drop of water,
breaking their backs on rocks as hard as the heart of the Arabs gunmen
waiting in ambush.  But they fulfilled the Promise and rewarded Her longing.

By adding some additional Mitzvot for those of us who live here, HaShem is
making sure that we will never forget where we are supposed to be.  By
liberating the forces of the universe every single day, He is reminding us
that He is the Master of the World, commanding to the rain and snow, to the
wind and thunder.  By making each day unique and intense, in joy or pain,
He is convincing us every second that our feet are anchored in a different
soil, that our souls are touching different skies and that our
responsibility will never be the same anymore.  And to appease our fears,
in His infinite mercy, He lets us glimpse at the marvels of His nature.  He
sends a breeze to lift up the burden of our shoulders, a flower to rejoice
our eyes, some rain to wash away our doubts and trees to legitimize our hopes.

The Land is ours and we belong to Her.  Only the love we have for each
other will allow us to develop our true potential to fruition.  Some fancy
international committees can say what ever they want and rule however they
want.  But the Land of Israel will yield Her Milk and Honey only through
the Jews; And the Jews will dwell here for ever to learn Torah under fig
trees She will have grown for them, using the rain and the sun that HaShem
will bestow upon us.



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