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Waiting for the “Former Rain”

November 15, 2017

by: Janet Aslin

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Friday, 17 November, 2017 | When planning an outdoor summer activity in Israel, we do not consider whether or not it will rain. With very few exceptions—and those are seen as specific acts of God—rain does not fall between May and September. When the Bible refers to the “former” and “latter” rains, the timing for the former is late October/early November while the latter rains fall in March/April.

Although Israel is a world leader in desalination and reuses approximately 80% of its wastewater for agricultural purposes, there is still a great need for rain. According to a recent article in the Jewish Press, “many years of below-average rainfall have caused a chronic drought.” Farmers in northern Israel have been faced with increasingly tough restrictions on water use from the two natural sources—underground aquifers and the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). They are wondering what the upcoming winter will bring in the area of rainfall.

The water level of the Kinneret is one measure that all Israelis are familiar with. There are two red lines (an upper and a lower) as well as a black line, which is “the level at which water can no longer be pumped from the lake without causing severe damage to the entire water supply” (Jewish Press). Currently the water level is approximately 32.5 cm (12.8 in) above that black line.

The first rainfall of 2017 came on October 3rd, followed by a slightly more significant four days of rain that began in northern Israel a few weeks later. Typically the months of December through February are Israel’s rainiest, contributing between two-thirds and three-quarters of the annual rainfall. This is a good start but more is needed. At the beginning of this year’s rainy season, let’s pause and join our Jewish brothers and sisters in praying for an abundance of the “former” rains.

Posted on November 15, 2017

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 17 November 2017)

Photo Credit: Pixabay