Since Wednesday night, when the snow storm began to heap its white tonnage upon our land, those of us who were hit hard by it comforted ourselves and each other by whining over the latest matzav. No one imagined that we would be hit by a blizzard. That just doesn’t happen in Israel. But it did.
Many of us were without electricity, heat, and hot water for days. We were stranded, our cars buried beneath the snow and those of us who were lucky enough to own a shovel and dig our cars out couldn’t drive off anyway since the roads were sheets of ice. Landlines were down, cell phones were useless and internet was not to be had. Cabin fever had set in. It was a perfect occasion to whine, and whine we did.
With much of the country at a standstill, you feel lonely and isolated and cold. And then a neighbor who has heat comes to your door and offers you and your daughter to stay at their home. And another neighbor, without even telling you, somehow contacts your landlord. And that landlord who just got up an hour ago from sitting shiva for his father manages against all odds to procure a ride to your yishuv, to your home, to fix your electricity. And then you hear other stories from friends and neighbors in the street of how volunteer drivers in the midst of the storm set out for the main bus station in Jerusalem to bring stranded soldiers on the way home for Shabbat to their families out in the Gush.
And in this good cheer of selfless deeds we find ourselves whining again over leaky roofs, plastic shovels that were never meant to dig up snow, and a dwindling supply of hot chocolate.
But just as the storm lifts, and the sun begins to bring some relief, we are brought back to reality way too soon and the luxury of whining is once again put on the back burner…For better times, when inclement weather can be the main topic of concern.
For not too long after the sun had set on Sunday the bad news reached us. In the north, one of our soldiers was killed by sniper fire from the Lebanese border and rockets from Gaza resumed wreaking havoc on southern Israel.
For three days we dared to be like any other free country. For three days we basked in self-indulgent whining and kvetching to our hearts content over a snowfall that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in northeast America.
It was wonderful. But now it’s over.
Israel has another son to bury.