I was born in a snowstorm in Ottawa. Family legend has it that the car was stuck and had to be dug out to get my mother to the hospital in time. I say legend because, as I am about to turn 40 in a week a half, everything seems to have happened a really really long time ago, a time so long ago that I can no longer verify facts.
I grew up in Toronto. We spent last year in Cleveland. I should have a very healthy relationship with snow. You know who doesn’t have such a healthy relationship with small ice particles? The Israel nation. Rendered incapacitated just by the idea of snow, our local supermarket was mobbed with people loading up on essentials in the days leading up the blizzard. And the snow did not disappoint (the electric company, on the other hand, they perhaps disappointed). There was rain and a bit of hail and a lot a lot of snow. And its everywhere. I’ve been wearing some form of sweatpants since Wednesday because why the heck not. Yael and I watched The Sound of Music (oh singing Nazis, you’re the worst) and the boys giggled their way through Home Alone. We have unlocked levels on the Wii that we didn’t even know existed. And we have made tons of food.
But then the lights go off. Friday was a day of rolling blackouts. Our Shabbat guests are stranded in Yerushalayim (oh Mizrachi boys, it’s like Navi class all over again. I wait for you to show…) and we replace them with yeshiva boys that are stuck here. But only boys that we love. And they show up in the dark. And there is something beautiful about the dark and good food and great singing voices. We argue about Torah, we talk about girls and the lights flicker on and off and on and off. And there’s no heat. But there’s chicken soup and fresh challah. And we all just sort of stay in the moment because where else do you need to be in the dark, in the blizzard.
We’re venturing out of the yishuv now for the first time in 125 hours. Well, we are. David was out yesterday driving people to hospitals and appointments, picking up medicines and dropping them off because this is Israel and while we may not be able to handle the snow, there is kindness at every turn.
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