These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Alumni Guest Post] Snow Day in Jerusalem, Blessings, Curses, and Blessings that Seem like Curses

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Emma Sevitz

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From Yishai Paquin's (Year '12) blog:

563087_682385793309_2109565215_n (2)Yes, it is snowing in Jerusalem!

Yes, for my family and friends in the United States, it gets cold enough to snow in Jerusalem.

Yes, it is a blessing.

And yes, it may not seem like a blessing but it is.

Sure it is really cold, which is tough for a Florida boy like me, but it means water for the Land of Israel, time at home with family and friends, and it means having to take it easy, because there is nothing you can do when the Holy City shuts down except venture out, take some photos, and write a blog post, and, oh yea, study Torah.

This week’s parsha offers an excellent example of blessings that seem like curses but nontheless are blessings. By this point in the Torah we read about Jacob and Joseph and his brothers all reuniting. So all of them are now in Egypt and Jacob is nearing the end of his life and getting ready to pass on. He gathers all of his sons and gives them blessings, some of which seem more like curses than blessings.

My style is never to spend too much time on details unless I really need to. Luckily in this case, to get my point across, it seems that without all of the blessings, all of them, even the ones that seem like curses, I would not be able to sit here in Jerusalem as a Jew to enjoy the snow fall, blessing this land, the land Jacob makes sure to reference a few times so that we may return here.

Blessings, life is filled with them. There are challenges, like snow, cold, and rain. But when the spring time comes we will see the real reason behind the cold, wet winter. When everything is green we will see, but right now we are cold, and it is snowing, and now is the time to see what is happening outside the window.

Do not forget that now is a blessing. That is all we have.

Here are some photos, enjoy.