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.
The Obama administration has asked the Palestinian Authority to halt talks on a unity government with Hamas, according to a senior PA official. The official said the White House fears a unity government with the Islamist group would make it difficult for the U.S. and European Union to support the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state in the United Nations. The information is the latest indicator Obama will not veto the controversial U.N. resolution, which would recognize a Palestinian state in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, purportedly including the Temple Mount.
Caroline Glick wrote an excellent piece on this in May.
…I have not elevated liberalism to the status of religion. I do not blindly follow the liberal agenda and my convictions take a backseat to my commitment to the well-being of Israel and the Jewish people. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of U.S. Jews, who have substituted liberalism for Judaism and whose actions are often governed by misguided priorities…When the lives of my family, my friends, and my people are in jeopardy because we are Jewish, when there are very real threats to the continued existence of the State of Israel and by extension the Jewish people, when our enemies have declared that their intention is to annihilate us and are acquiring tools to this end with the world standing by, then my pro-humanist beliefs give way to my commitment to the sanctity and security of Israel and the Jewish people.