Israel’s multi-year drought is ending in dramatic fashion as the heavy rains drench the north while Jerusalem braces for snow. Even more rain is expected to arrive, blown in from the Mediterranean to Israel’s shores. Earlier in the week, 1.5 inches of snow fell in the Golan. Precipitation is expected to fall in all regions including the Negev.
All this comes after a five-year drought, the worst the region has seen for several decades. These latest downpours added 12.5 inches of water to the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Israel’s main source of drinking water. Rainfall in December broke a 30-year record and precipitation in the north and center of Israel are currently at 60-80 percent of its annual precipitation. Over the last two days, 7.3 inches of rain fell. Northern Israel has currently exceeded normal rainfall for this period, with most places in the north recording upwards of 150 percent of the average rainfall.
Rain in Israel is a reflection of the relationship between the Jews and God.
If, then, you obey the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, loving Hashem your God and serving Him with all your heart and soul, I will grant the rain for your land in season, the early rain and the late. Deuteronomy 11:13
The divine significance of the precipitation was not lost on Rabbi Dov Kook, a well-known mystic from Tiberias. When Rabbi Kook woke up on Monday morning, he gazed from his window in wonder, noting the heavy rainfall.
“It is amazing,” the rabbi exclaimed. “Not one drop touches another and they each have their own shape and size.”
After some introspection, the rabbi added, “Rain is the marriage of heaven and earth and this downpour hints that the Messiah is about to arrive. The heavens are God’s domain and the earth is Israel. This rain is clearly the rain of redemption.”
Rabbi Kook has a significant following in Israel. Before the last U.S. elections, he fasted for three consecutive days in order to ensure a victory by Donald Trump.