Laura Ben-David
Sharing Israel with the world through my lens
Featured Post

Winter wonderland

After four years of waiting, the time has come to welcome the thrill and joys of a perfect snowfall

It may have been two weeks late, but we got our snow, and how! While the kvetchers were still kvetching – it wasn’t enough snow, why would they cancel school when “there’s just ¾ of a centimeter of snow?” – the weathermen weren’t stupid, and neither were the Gush Etzion school board administrators. At 7 a.m. there was a thin layer of snow with prospects for more, with the temperature holding steady at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. There was just enough snow to make the world – at least what we could see of it – mostly white, and to bring on the cancellation of school.

By 8 a.m. half of my kids were outside — the only ones out it seemed — making the most of what was already on the ground, only to be pelted by hail. It seemed like our winter wonderland was going to be short-lived; the nay-sayers might just get the last word. Then, after a brief interlude, the skies suddenly opened up and it started snowing in earnest.

All at once, the snow demanded that we take it seriously. My husband, who had driven up to the synagogue for morning services, drove the few blocks to the bakery, only to discover that the road had become extremely treacherous. The short ride up the hill that usually takes about 10 seconds, took him ten scary minutes. He arrived home, safe and sound, and we discovered that bus routes were canceled, plans were being changed, and Neve Daniel, along with the rest of Gush Etzion, was getting the snow that we had been waiting for since our last real snow in 2008.

Whoohoo! It was really coming down, and amazingly the freezing temperatures held. My kids went out for round two. (Or was it round three by then? Hard to tell…) Snowball fights ensued, snowmen went up, sleds and sled-pretenders were everywhere, igloos were built, and every kid on the block, after being mostly holed up for weeks due to the wind and rain, was out and about, taking in all of the thrill and joys of a perfect snowfall.

My kitchen became a hot-drink factory, with countless cups of hot cocoa, coffee and tea being made and served. Wet boots and other winter-wear began piling up at my front door, and there were even snow songs being played off of youtube to get into the spirit. From first thing in the morning, I had my camera in hand, clicking away, capturing this ever-elusive moment in Gush Etzion, to have something to hold onto and enjoy for however long it takes until next time – when we’ll be happily anticipating yet again.

About the Author
Laura Ben-David is a photographer, public speaker and Israel advocate. Inspired by her Aliyah experience, Laura began writing and never stopped. She is the author of the book, MOVING UP: An Aliyah Journal, a memoir of her move to Israel. She has spoken all over the world about Israel, Aliyah and other topics, often with beautiful photographic presentations. Formerly the head of social media at Nefesh B'Nefesh, Laura is the director of marketing at Shavei Israel as well as a marketing consultant.