Friday, January 14, 2011

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Winter Brachot

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths Winter Wonderland

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A reader sent along the following picture, commenting ‘25" of snow in New Engand. What are we doing? Getting our visas to Israel ready!’

Everywhere Jews go we adapt ourselves and Judaism to our environment.  In Minnesota for Succot, we build insulated succah walls and install propane heaters in the succah.  A minchag of thick schach helps as well to keep the cold out.

In Florida, the succah walls are reed fence, letting the air flow through due to the heat and humidity.  And making kiddush early is important to avoid the afternoon rains.

In New York, wood wall succahs and retractable rain covers are the thing.

In Israel Succot every year is pleasant with a few days of scorching hot weather.  The Gemora teaches that in the time of Moshiach the nations will complain “why are the Jews getting the sole reward for mitzvot?  You didn’t offer us any (or didn’t offer any to the current generation).  So Hashem will answer, ‘ok, so here’s a little mitzvah of succah, lets see how you do’.  And after everyone is in their succah Hashem will send a heat wave…after which all the nations will leave their succahs, kicking them on the way out.  The Jews will be sitting in theirs, sweating over their soup and trusting in Hashem.’

This past week in Israel we’re ENJOYING cold wet weather.  Because in Israel it’s easier to see the brachot of Hashem more clearly and we know we’re completely dependent on Hashem for every drop of water.  So we thank G-d for the cold wet days and ask for more of them!

May everyone merit to see the blessings of the weather and not, G-d forbid, the curses (as those of Australia and Brazil are seeing right now.)

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