Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"God says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth...'" Job 37:6 - Snow in Jewish Culture

"God says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth...'" Job 37:6

Little-Known Facts About Snow in Jewish Tradition and Lore:

Many traditional Jewish congregations refuse to count snowmen in the prayer quorum.

Medieval Jewish mystics practiced rolling in the snow to purge themselves from evil urges. They were the first snow angels.

Moses Maimonides, 10th century physician to the Egyptian Khalif, prescribed snow as a cure for the hot Cairo summers.

The elders of Safed have 36 different words for snow -- but none for snow removal.

During 3 particularly cold Sinai winters, the Israelites were led by a pillar of snow.

It is forbidden to write in the snow on the Sabbath. (if you are interested in this topic, see here
and here) – halachot on writing on Shabbat and on walking on snow)

Following the great Jerusalem blizzard of 1900, Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl proposed the "Uganda option."

According to some rabbinic authorities, one must wait six hours between going out in the snow and in the rain.

On snowy days, the procession of King Solomon's immediate family was pulled by 2,800 reindeer and 1,200 huskies.

Israel's national hockey team participated in the 1992 Winter Games, dominating both the Olympic village and concession area.

On January 9, 1896, a snowball from St. Patrick's elementary school landed in Mrs. Manischewitz's kitchen, inspiring her to invent matzo ball soup.

See more from the Shabbat-O-Gram archives for a snowy day: Snow in Jewish Culture: Snow in Jewish Culture

So snow is heaven speaking to us - speaking to us through purity, speaking to us gently and gradually on our terms. Snow is the intermediary stage between heaven and earth; ice is a little closer to the level of earth; sleet is in between snow and ice. Thus every weather condition sends us a message and lesson - whether it’s rain, snow, ice, sleet or hail. (Simon Jacobson)

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