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When It Snows in Jerusalem

You get ready to walk to the Kotel no matter where you are, because it is a sight no one should miss if they get a chance to see it in their lifetime.

All over the world, when it snows, most of the time people take it for granted.  But not in my city, Jerusalem.

When it snows in Jerusalem, people in Petach Tikva and Tel Aviv pile into their cars and head towards the capital.

Old folks (like me) go out at 11 PM to throw snowballs at their husbands and to sit drinking hot cider in the only café open for business.

Your kids call you from far away Rechovot begging to spend the night.

You clean off your windowsills and put some of the snow in the freezer, to remember when the skies turn hot and blue again, as you know they will.

You can hear the children in nearby schools scream with delight, in a chorus, as the first flakes fall.

You get out your iPhones and SMS (text) photos to your entire family.

early Thursday morning
The author in front of Mount Zion in the afternoon

You watch people pile up more snow on their cars to take home to show their families.

You get to take out the clothes you bought the last time you were in a place that has a real winter (i.e., outside the country) and wear them again.

No one goes to work, or school.

The streets are empty, except for the teenagers having the time of their lives.

At the first forecast of snow, you look longingly at the sky, hoping wishes alone might milk a little of the white stuff from the reluctant sky.And when it starts falling, you stand, mesmerized as the flakes transform the familiar landscape into something so strange and beautiful you can’t move

Almost all the snow at the Kotel is gone by the afternoon

And even as it snows, you hope the sun won’t come out too soon and melt it; that it will stay cold long enough for the roads to reopen and so the grandkids can come and see.

You get ready to walk to the Kotel no matter where you are, because it is a sight no one should miss if they get a chance to see it in their lifetime.

And when you get there, although all public transportation has been stopped, the roads in and out of the city have been closed, and schools and almost all businesses have shut down, you bless G-d for giving the city so much joy.

You find yourself already dreaming about the next snow day in Jerusalem …

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4 comments on “When It Snows in Jerusalem”

  1. Naomi R

    1991 was a snowless year in New York, but we certainly enjoyed the snow in Jerusalem during a trip to visit a son in Yeshiva. A most beautiful sight. Thanks Naomi. Shabbat shalom to you and family.

  2. Lynn Sharon

    The year, 1972, the month, February. The city, Jerusalem. We made aliyah from NY-August 1971. Our shaliach assured us that there was no need for heavy quilts,winter coats, etc. because we were making aliyah to a sub-tropical region. And there we were gazing in awe at the snowflakes fluttering down before our eyes and blanketing the Judean hills in white. A memorable moment. Fortunately, we didn’t follow our shaliach’s advice (he came from Ramat Gan and I guess he never saw snow) and took out our quilts and heavy sweaters.

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