When I was a child growing up in Rockville, MD, a suburb of Washington, DC, I have very fond memories of snow. Whenever there was a blizzard, all of the neighborhood children would go sledding together. There was a hill that was perfect for this in the back of our neighborhood. In addition, we would build snowmen and igloos. My father would usually bring hot chocolate out to the igloo where my girlfriends and I were sitting. Yet many people who grew up in Israel don’t have such childhood memories that are common to many Americans.
My husband, Shachar Avraham, was born and raised in Netanya, Israel, which is right on the Mediterranean Sea. It never snows in Netanya. For university, he relocated to Be’ersheva, Israel, the provincial capital of the Negev desert, in order to study at Ben-Gurion University. It also never snows in Be’ersheva either. He doesn’t have childhood memories of playing in the snow. However, on Israeli television today, we saw that snow had reached Dimona, which is very close to Be’ersheva, and that children in Dimona who never grew up with snow were full of delight as they enjoyed this unusual winter weather. My husband was all excited about snow reaching Dimona and was disappointed that it didn’t come to Be’ersheva as well.
Snowman built in Israel
Ben Halpern, a resident of Jerusalem, described how many students in his yeshiva had a snowball fight in the street. His roommate built a snowman and it evidently was his first time experiencing snow. The streets of Jerusalem were filled with people throwing snowballs around and coming out to look at the snow, because it is such an infrequent occurrence. Even the Prime Minister had a snowball fight with his son. Quite a number of other people also built snowmen.
Jerusalem native Ohad Baruch claimed that he walked his dog in about eight centimeters of snow in the holy city and that his dog had a blast with this winter weather. He claimed that the park near his home was packed with people enjoying Jerusalem covered in snow. Ohad stated that snow rarely falls in Jerusalem and a neighbor reported that there wasn’t snow like this in the holy city since 1992.
Nahum Israeli was so excited about the snow that he left Bnei Brak with his children in order to come to Jerusalem just to play in the snow. He built an igloo with his kids. In Jerusalem, schools and businesses closed and Jerusalemites swarmed to the Old City, to take pictures of the remnants of the Second Temple, the Kotel, covered majestically in snow. Many other Jerusalemites turned cardboard boxes into sleds, since most people don’t own sleds in Israel, and rode down the snow from hilltops. Some people even made fascinating snow sculptures. On facebook, I saw a picture of a qassam rocket made out of snow and another picture of a man kissing a winter wonder lady made out of snow. Yet, Jerusalemites were not the only ones to enjoy the snow, for it also fell in Judea and Samaria, as well as in the Golan Heights and certain other areas of northern Israel, like Safed.
To see a video of snow falling in Neve Daniel, watch this video below!
By Rachel Avraham
Click ‘LIKE’ if you LOVE seeing snow in the Land of Israel!