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    The Israeli climate – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. For such a small country Israel has a wide climatic variety. Does this have any effect on Jewish identity?

    map_israelA. The prayers for rain and dew always linked the land with its agricultural seasons. The variety of climate might have made the inhabitants of Israel more versatile.

    The hilly terrain of Jerusalem encouraged the Psalmist to look up to the hills and find Divine inspiration. The large dry areas elsewhere might have bred physical, psychological and moral hardiness. The fact that some brooks dried up in the summer and flowed again in the winter were an analogy to national history, which waxed and waned.

    The sages said that “the air of Eretz Yisra’el makes you wise”, i.e. clear air makes clear minds.

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