I am writing to you from soaking rainy Israel, and hope that you will find a few minutes to let me share with you my experience.
As I watch the weather reports from Atlanta are storms and rain I feel proud to report that we here in Israel are having rain storms as well... Why is this so exciting you might wonder?
The answer is obvious: as you understand the water problem Israel faces, the years of drought, these late April showers on the scale that Israel is having this week is a welcomed blessing no matter which way you look at it. The other night I couldn't sleep, roaming thunder storms of biblical proportions were keeping me, and I assume most Israelis up (including my jet-lagged infant). As lighting spread through the skies here over central Israel, I was laying in bed smiling to myself - funny what being here does to you... All I could think was "Don't stop". Whereas in Atlanta I would lie in bed and complain that it rains again, or it's too loud or too grey outside, in Israel everyone walks around with pride - It's raining - it's raining!
Israel is blooming, flowers, trees, fruit trees, the sweet smell filling the air - the country is alive. I drive around in wonder and am reminded at every corner that water is LIFE.
The morning after the biggest storm we headed south to the Negev. Now try convincing your guests from Atlanta that the green pastures ahead of us is a desert...?!? Beer Sheva River? Yep - it is a real river, water was running through it with force. It rained so hard we could not even stay outside long enough to see one of the 200 or so water reservoirs that JNF has built.
Water is a miracle, now into my 4th day in Israel, as the sun is finally breaking through (sort of), I am reminded of how we take things for granted when living in a different reality. The weather in Atlanta or California that we would brush aside as a nuisance is here a source of pride, news reports and a provider of hope and optimism. Though I for one always prefer a sunny Israeli morning, sitting with my coffee by the beach, I cannot not admire and watch in awe the today blooming land that is Israel.
The reality though is that this rain comes too rarely and not in enough quantities, which forces Israel to constantly be vigilant and innovative when it comes to water solutions. I feel strongly, more than ever, that the water related work we do at JNF is vital and necessary more so in light of this week, as I get a glimpse of what the dessert can look when it blooms, when I understand what this country could be if water was a non-issue.
Wishing you all a rainy day!
Lehitraot from Israel,
Co-President, JNF Atlanta Board