He spreads the snow like wool

He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.

(Ps 147:16)

In the Catholic liturgy, the psalm of today’s Holy Mass is the 147th. It was exactly this psalm which came to life before us, together with almost all its images, when two weeks ago, in the last days of February we escaped the Danish winter and headed to Israel in search of some springlike weather. Our first day was springlike indeed: twenty degrees with sunshine. We started for a long hiking from Nazareth, wandered through picturesque landscapes, and finally successfully climbed the Mount of Transfiguration, or Mount Tabor, as it is called today. And we were enraptured by the magnificent spring flower carpet covering everything.

He makes grass grow on the hills,
and plants for people to use.

(Ps 147:8)

We did not know that this would be our first and last springlike day in Israel. That evening it started to rain, and it spilled  hopelessly for several days.

He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain.

(Ps 147:8)

It was pouring non-stop for three days, which for Israel, which is struggling with the drought, was certainly a huge blessing, but not so much personally for us. In this desolate rain we went across by bus to Jerusalem, where the water was running in streams over the streets, and the temperature was not more than five degrees.

He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?

(Ps 147:17)

Well, we certainly could not withstand it. I had two pullovers and two coats on while roaming about the city, because once you are in Jerusalem, you will certainly not lock yourself up in your hotel room for some bloody rain, however much it flows in streams through my summer shoes.

The next morning, on the second of March, however, a miracle occurred which happens once every five years in Jerusalem, and which made us forget all the hardships of the previous days. It started to snow in huge flakes. It was snowing for about a hour, at times with the intensity of a snow storm, and it covered the soil with a thin layer for some hours. A waist-deep snow, like during that ominous winter of 1921 we have recently shown photos about, there was not, of course, but a real, thick, permanent snow, yes. We threw ourselves into the bustle of snowy Jerusalem.

He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.

(Ps 147:16)

The locals were also completely excited by this extraordinary natural phenomenon. Some even traveled from the countryside to Jerusalem the previous night at hearing the news about the impending snowfall, just not to miss the big event. The snowfall itself is presented in several videos on the net: I just want to share two beautifully cut short ones with our readers. The first one was made in the Old City, and the second in the modern, western part of Jerusalem. They could have been made by ourselves, too, as we walked through exactly these places:

The two videos were taken by two different local residents, so it is very striking how similar the music are which accompany them. The timeless, gentle acoustic guitar music which is in such a sharp contrast to the louder, more dynamic, oriental-spiced music generally pouring from Israeli radios, renders really well the awe and admiration with which the locals watched this rare natural phenomenon – for the few hours until it melted.

But he sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
Extol the LORD, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.

(Ps 147:18, 12)

3 comentarios:

Effe dijo...

you brought along the Danish charm.
A snowman on the Via Dolorosa is something striking.

Liang Sheng dijo...

Thank you, Effe. It is indeed a nice recognition for a native Hungarian. ;-)

Effe dijo...

I know about your home Country, but you live in Denmark, don't you? And something from the world where we live and dream and try to orient ourselves, always becomes part of us (e.g. while you're walking, you sow around ancient Hebrew characters, I presume)