Snow is something not immediately associated with a hot Mediterranean country like Israel.  It does fall in the north on  Mount Hermon, but rarely in the centre of the country.  When it does, however, the effect on the population is dramatic.  It only needs a few wisps to fall for all the residents  of  Jerusalem to move immediately into panic mode.

snowscene xx

All places of work are vacated  – schools, shops and government offices emptied.  People rush to clear the supermarket shelves of ’emergency supplies’ then race home in a frenzy of anxiety that they might (God forbid) be snowbound. This rarely happens as the few flakes that manage to fall hardly settle on the ground long enough to justify being called snow.

But not only Jerusalemites are affected. Once snow is reported thousands of people living on the coastal plain make evacuation plans, but this time to visit the snow. It is probably one of the rare occasions when Tel Avivians deign to visit the capital city.

To travel by car is an ordeal – not because of harsh weather conditions, but because of the tremendous traffic jams caused by others who have the same idea. One TA friend rented a 4×4 in order to take the back route over small mountain tracks rather than risk the congestion on the main highway.

However Tel Avivians have found an ingenious way to combat this.  They ring  a friend in Jerusalem, ask him to fill his car trunk with snow and to meet them halfway on the main highway at Latrun.

Loading 4 xx sml

Here it is transferred from car to car and the Tel Avivian return home exultant with his hoard. I have yet to discover if any of it actually reaches its destination. I guess that, sadly, all he has when he reaches home is a rather damp patch in the trunk of the car.

But never mind, it is said that in life the journey is more important than the arrival.  In this case for a brief period the excitement of the adventure takes thoughts away from some of the more pressing issues that affect Israelis.

Snowman 1


22 thoughts on “Snow

  1. What a wonderful and entertaining piece. Israel is not somewhere where you ever think it might be snowing – and the idea of putting in the trunk to take it home is hilarious. More please, more….


  2. A great anecdote! I love the photo of snow covering Jerusalem – so different to how I’ve just seen it under a blue sky and blazing sunshine.


  3. Knowing Ruth, she will have much more of quality ideas and tells on Jerusalem and Israel.
    Just wait and see what this special lady can provide.


  4. A very nice picture of the Old City in such unusual conditions! I’m sure it would have been equally beautiful that evening with the walls lit up…


  5. I live in Jerusalem, and can say that every word here is correct! I especialy liked the part of the Tel Avivians- it’s so true! Snow is a kind of a compensation for the “Yerushalmim” ( Jerusalem residents) for not having a sea in the city… thanke you! Elior.


  6. Last yea we had 2 snow falls in Jerusalem and when one stopped I had 6-7 inches of snow on my balcony in Rehavia. The next day the snow was gone. It is a great story and beautifully written. Please keep on with your stories, it is a pleasure to read them. How about publishing them in a book?
    Ruth you are a great lady with multiple talents!


  7. Ruth is probably is the best woman writer I know. Wonderful…..although we are thousands of miles distant from Israel, we are not far apart. Snow seems to bring out excitement in all of us. The best of the human condition! Bring on more anecdotes please, very enjoyable!!


  8. I t reminded me of when I first came to live in Israel in November 1971 in the Jezreel Valley – I was in the dining room ( a newcomer to communal eating) when everyone vacated their seats and rushed to the windows leaving their breakfasts untouched. I ‘followed’ wondering what was so amazing. the excitement was palpable -Found it was ‘snowing’ a few little specks of snow -and went quietly back to finish my daisar (porridge).


  9. Enjoyable and somewhat hilarious, which is why it is good reading all all the way to the end of the story.
    I have particularly enjoyed your focus on the the species called Telavivians who view Jerusalem as a snow safari. They also hold the city as their haredi safari. But unlike snow they would not like to take a haredi back to their home city in the trunk of their car. Amiram


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