David Melech Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel, called for prayers for Israel in the wake of a flash flood that claimed the lives of ten high-schoolers on a hike near the Dead Sea on Thursday.
Rain in Israel is a blessing. But this week that blessing took a tragic turn. Americans are heartbroken by the loss of life resulting from this week’s flash floods. We send our condolences to the families of all the victims and pray for all those who are in mourning.
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) April 27, 2018
25 students from the Bnei Zion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv were on a hike in the Tzapit river, which had been a dry riverbed until unseasonal rains struck Israel over the last few days. Ten students were killed and several others seriously injured.
As Friedman noted, rain is seen as Divine Providence in arid Israel and a result of the Jews following God’s commandments.
If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, I will grant your rains in their season, so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees of the field their fruit. Leviticus 26:3-4
Jews stop praying for rain after Passover since it is no longer beneficial for agriculture. This winter season was below normal and public prayers were called on several occasions.
Friedman is a devout Jew and the son of a rabbi. He is also a Kohen (Jewish man descended from the Biblical high-priest Aaron) and takes part in the Kohanic blessings of Israel. Before joining Donald Trump’s campaign as an advisor he was a successful lawyer. Friedman owns a home in Jerusalem and is a strong proponent of moving the US embassy. In addition, he has drawn fire for supporting the Jewish homeland in Judea and Samaria. His middles name, Melech (king), is a reference to Biblical King David.