Since we arrived in Israel at the end of March we had been blessed with good weather. The humidity is typically low here, we are at about 2,400 feet above sea level and even late in June we found it could be quite chilly at night. Though warned that it gets hot and miserable here during the summer (there is after all a real sand-dune desert just miles to the east) it seemed only plausible. June and the beginning of July were, literally, a breeze. Our unairconditioned apartment stayed cool and comfortable.The only trick necessary to bearing the heat outside was to stay inside or, when outdoors, stick in the shade.
Not to complain, but starting about three weeks ago the breezy days and chilly nights ended. It’s hot, very hot, and afternoons have been a challenge.
Interestingly enough, this year the truly miserable weather roughly aligned with the beginning of The Three Weeks of Sorrow beginning July 19 on the Gregorian calendar, a period of observance among religious Jews extending on the Hebrew calendar from Tammuz 17 to the 9th of Av when the five calamities occurred.
- Moses broke the two tablets of stone on Mount Sinai;
- The daily tamid offering ceased to be brought;
- The walls of Jerusalem were breached (leading to the destruction of the Temple);
- Prior to Bar Kokhba’s revolt, Roman military leader Apostomus burned a Torah scroll;
- An idol was erected in the Temple.