Shalom and Welcome to this week’s In Israel Blog
So Pesach (Passover) is almost here which means at least according to the calendar the winter is officially over and the spring/summer is started. Certainly over the last few days temperatures have started to rise and the clocks have moved to summer time.
Despite the onset of spring there have been some very rainy days over the last few weeks. The day of the Jerusalem Marathon was particularly memorable – wet windy and with some lashings of hail to ensure that none of the runners complained that it was too hot. A new course record was set and the winner in the man’s race broke the target time to take home the bonus. Jerusalem Marathon video and photos are available at Jerusalem Marathon Album 2012. The Tel Aviv Marathon (two weeks later) enjoyed dry but still pleasantly cool conditions.
Here at In Israel we enjoy the national pastime of Kinneret level watching. In what is probably our last report for this winter, the Kinneret is now 1.5m above the lower red line and, therefore, “only” 2.7m below the level of being “officially full.” The 1.5m of water has taken almost 2 months since the Kinneret crossed the lower red line for the first time in a while back in early February. This is not enough water, but a decent amount nonetheless.
The excellent winter has brought out the flora reviving desert areas that are normally very brown and barren. Two desert wadis that we visited recently were Nahal Qumran and Nahal Og. Photo albums are available at Nahal Og in Spring, Nahal Qumran Album and at the Desert Blooms album (mentioned last time.)
Givat HaTurmusim (literally Lupin Hill) is famous in Israel for the impressive Lupin display (see Turrmus (Lupin) Hill) in early spring. Givat HarTurmusim is located in the Ela Valley (Emek Ha’Ela) on Tel Sacho where David and Goliath fought.
Pesach marks our redemption from Egypt under Moses’ leadership. Families will gather all over Israel to retell the story and partake of the Seder (Friday night.) Everybody has been busy cleaning and removing chametz (bread etc) from their homes. It is a frantic period that is a form of slavery in its own right – but in Seder night we celebrate freedom. After Pesach comes Shavuot (in 7 weeks) when we celebrate the giving of the Torah (law). We hope and pray that Israel will continue to celebrate freedom and law/justice forever more together with all nations.
Over the Pesach holiday there are many special events and programs as much of the country celebrates and takes a week off work. Our guide to Pesach (Passover) Events 2012 – Where To Go? What To Do? is a work in progress so be sure to check back over the holiday.
Chag Sameach – Happy Festivals!
Le’Hitraot from Jerusalem