Last week was a very difficult week. The driving rains, cloudy skies, and cold winds were a perfect backdrop to a very sad week. While I write these words, the Dee family is still sitting Shiva in Efrat.
During the rainy weather, the sun shone briefly, and our apple blossoms appeared as a ray of hope within the gloom. Then, both Friday and Today (Shabbat) were full of sunshine and warmer temperatures. This helped to lift at least my spirits, and hopefully others. The warmer temperatures should last into late Tuesday, when some tropical moisture could touch off some thundershowers. The latter half of the week should again be chilly with a stiff wind. What happens next week depends on how far north and west a Scandinavian high pressure block moves, which would allow a trough to dig down from Western Russia and Eastern Europe into the eastern Mediterranean. If it does, as noted by Yaakov Cantor (of our “Israel Winter Weather” group), it could combine with a very slow-moving upper low located over central Europe. The result would be a late April rainstorm, in a month in which we are already well above average.
In addition to the tragedy that befell the town of Efrat, two members of a family from Tiberius were swept away by floods in the Arava. The Israel Meteorological Service (IMS) was said to be angry at the police for not closing roads prior to the flooding. On the surface, this seems justified since the IMS had warned about flooding. Yet, the IMS often warns about the potential for flooding, yet there is no flood at all and nor any flood expected within (let’s say) the next half hour. This leads to complacency. What should be done, in my opinion, is to issue “Flood Watches” or “Flood Probability Forecasts.” Travellers and hikers need to be aware of the potential risk (expressed as a probability). They can then build into their schedules or activities appropriate measures if a flood becomes imminent. Hence, when observations, such as a lightning network (see video) show developing storms, the IMS can issue warnings of an impending flood event. Ideally, these would be communicated to the police along with graphics (such as lightning intensity and expected flood locations), so that police are encouraged to act immediately. Such warnings could also go out to cell-phone companies and/or radio stations.
Israel obviously faces external threats. Some of the external threats are weather related, but many pertain to our neighbors (who glorify murder). To prepare for and counter any threat, it’s necessary to understand the threat. With regard to the murder of three members of the Dee family, they were murdered by evil people, living among evil people, in a society that fosters evil and immoral behavior through its education, media, religious, and government institutions.
Our neighbors hand out candies after a “successful” terrorist attack; we in contrast, sing about our hopes for a more peaceful and hopeful future.
Good can triumph over evil, but only when good confronts evil head on, without pause and without weakness.
But, for good to triumph requires strength, and we can only be strong if we achieve unity. We must end the internal threat to our well-being from the so-called “judicial-reform.” To do so, it’s necessary to discern between what we need and what we want, as Rabbi Dee spoke about during his eulogy for his wife Lucy. One side in our internal debate about the justice system wants to be able to legislate without court oversight. The other side doesn’t want any limitations on court oversight. What we need is something in between. The court needs to be able to protect our citizens basic rights. On the other hand, it should not be making policy, as that is the role of the legislature. Both sides would get what they need (and the Israel center appears to want).
We need such a compromise or our outcome could be like the Jewish people who fought themselves in the walled city of Jerusalem. They so weakened themselves that they were more easily susceptible to a Roman conquest, which did indeed lead to the dispersal of the Jewish people from the Land of Israel. Let’s not meet their fate as well.