Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Israel's Prayers Answered!

After a drought of several years, with all it's consequences (water rationing, farms closed, economic hardship, etc), Israel's prayers have been answered with truly torrential rains for most of the past several days. In Tel Aviv, it looked like we were witnessing the type of storms that usually come with hurricanes, and here in Tzfat the rains were even harder -- even in this city where all the roads flow steeply downhill, there was some flooding. But for the reality that I didn't want to ruin my camera in the rain, I wish I had taken a few pictures!

Still, shortages persist -- I learned last night that all of this rain will raise the level of the Kinneret, Israel's primary watershed, by about 5 centimeters. That's good. Unfortunately, with the sea level a full five meters below normal, that means that we need another 100 days of this type of rain. (and I always thought that 40 days and 40 nights would pretty much do the trick).

The rain aside, it is truly exciting to be in Tzfat for the start, tomorrow morning, of my 4th Israel Ride. The forecast is for the rain to take a break for the next several days (more prayers answered!), so we should be leaving tomorrow under a clear sky, and on roads freshly washed clear of most hazards (other than the cars). What more could we ask for?

Today is the "staging" day for the ride -- time to put the bikes back together or get fitted for rentals, test to be sure that everything is working (mind, body, bike, not necessarily in that order), meet old Israel Ride friends, and make new ones! We'll also have time to visit and learn about the ancient, mystical city of Tzfat.

For me, so far, this is already a trip of special treats -- I arrived in Tel Aviv Sunday evening in time for dinner with my step-sister Arlene and Ami, and spent the night and the next morning visiting with Adam and Michelle in Tel Aviv. The have a wonderful apartment that is literally across a short walkway from the beach, just a few doors down from the home (now museum) of David Ben Gurion, and a short walk to some of the great neighborhoods (aka, restaurants!) of Tel Aviv. And, yesterday, after arriving in Tzfat, we got to spend a wonderful evening with my nephew Guy, Inbar, and their three adorable children -- all born in the few years since I last saw Guy! Truly a nice family welcome to Israel! And, the week has just begun...

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