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Prayers for Rain Usher in Jerusalem Snowfall

Watch the snowfall in the Old City on “The Kotel Cam”

Adam Chandler
December 12, 2013
Snow Blankets Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday, December 12, 2013.(Yaniv Salama--Scheer)
Snow Blankets Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday, December 12, 2013.(Yaniv Salama--Scheer)

If you’re frequently stricken with wanderlust or don’t have a window in your office, technology provides a tantalizing antidote. Want to see what lions and hyenas are up to in the Milwaukee Zoo? Boom. Any stressful day can be smoothed out with a little Otis Redding and a live shot of the waves crashing into the pier at Pismo Beach. For some virtual spiritual edification, there’s always the Kotel Cam, which takes a live look in on the Old City in Jerusalem from various angles anytime of day.

Today would be a pretty good day to do it since Jerusalem is currently in the midst of a major snowstorm. Like most things in Zion, this mesmerizing bout of weather comes with a nod to the divine. Last week, the chief rabbis asked Jews around the world to pray for rain in Israel since winter had begun with a dry spell. Apparently, it worked.

Soon after the rabbis’ prayer request was made, meteorological data indicated that rain was headed to Israel. Since its arrival, the rabbis have asked the public to cease saying the extra prayer, and instead to insert a thanksgiving prayer for rain — a prayer that is “a little modern, from around 400 years ago,” Chief Rabbinate spokesman Ziv Maor told The Times of Israel on Thursday.

As a Texan, I can appreciate how poorly Israelis seem to be able to deal with the snow. Schedules for offices, schools, and roads have been altered because of the weather. But I suppose the news isn’t entirely bad.

World’s tiniest violin RT @AviMayer: Arutz 7: Hamas cancels all festive events marking the terrorist group’s 26th birthday due to weather

— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) December 12, 2013

According to Haaretz, it’s the heaviest December snowfall in 60 years.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.