Friday, January 11, 2013

Just Give Me a Snow Day

The economy may be shaky, the politics as dirty as ever, terror still haunting our roads, but give Israelis a snow day and all's right with the world.
Everywhere else in on the planet, after a heavy snowfall, citizens scream out to their Mayors, "Plow the streets. Plow the streets." But here in Efrat, Israel, when the snow plows rolled down our main street, passers-by started boo-ing.
Snow is such a magical and infrequent occurrence in Israel, that no one wants it to end.
As soon as the weatherman hints at the possibility of that four-letter-word, "S--W," all Israel is a twitter (and I don't mean the Social Media). Anticipation is higher than the best actor waiting for his "Oscar", higher than a father in the delivery room, higher than a trader on the stock market floor.
And when the snow doesn't appear exactly when the forecasters predicted, a gloom settles over the town, as if everyone had bet and lost Israel's highest-pay-off-lottery.
But when the first snowflake appears, the word goes out faster than an Indian smoke-signal.
Winter Wonderland
We awoke this morning to a white paradise. All was quiet and the sky was so bright, we had to wear sunglasses in order to see.
The whole town put on two or three pairs of socks, just as many shirts and pants, and at least one scarf, hat, pair of gloves and colorful boots. Everyone from child to adult looked like a bundled-up joke out of the Calvin and Hobbs comic.
But everyone was so excited to get out into the snow, kids didn't even complain when their mothers added yet another scarf or ear muffs to their anti-cold collection.
There was no school, no work, no shopping, no chuggim (extra-curricular activities). There were just friends and family, snowmen and snowpets, igloos and snowball fights. There were photos and photos, facebook uploads and internet albums.
There were no competitions or pressures or worldly tensions. There were encouraging words, "Wow, your snowman is terrific." "We love your sled." "We saw you sliding down the hill on a plastic tray. Cool." There were shiny cheeks and big smiles.
Yes, there were folks stranded in the wrong places. There were slippery steps. There were sniffles and frozen toes.
But there was a feeling that life had been suspended in a place between time and space, a place of all good, all soft, all shine, all happy, all blessing, all snow.

Thank you, G-d, for the snow. We'll remember today with great joy for a very long time.

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