Desalination: Do We Still Need Rain?

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

Desalination: Do We Still Need Rain?

For many people the development and use of Desalination and other water purification processes have made old-fashioned primitive rain unnecessary. Here in Israel, where not all that long ago, every drop of rain and freshwater lakes and other  natural water sources were considered more precious than diamonds, we now hear that "we don't need rain."

Considering that the rain in this part of the world comes totally from Gd as a barometer of our obedience to Gd's commandments, that's like saying that we don't need Gd. It reminds me of what many Jews have said since the invention of modern refrigeration systems.

"With refrigeration, we don't need to keep the Laws of Kashrut."

Kashrut is more than a primitive system to keep food safe for eating.

Last night before going to bed, I checked the weather forecast and saw that rain was predicted, so I decided not to do laundry. I generally hang mine out to dry, unless there has been a very rainy week with no such opportunities. This morning the sun was summer blue, so I quickly did two washes. But since this is supposed to be the height of the rainy season, and we've hardly had any rain, I won't get upset if the sky suddenly gets dark and rain starts to fall.

To be very honest, I'm terribly worried by all the Israelis/Jews who insist that we don't need rain anymore. First of all, there is the theological problem in this. Denying dependence on Gd for the most basic of natural resources, the insistence that man can provide for such a crucial need goes against the most basic principle in Judaism. It competes with those who insist that our national security is dependent on technology and foreign nations. History shows that our greatest victories, 1948, 1967 and 1973 were miraculous. And for those who claim that Nixon/Kissinger saved Israel in 1973, the truth is a lot more complicated. We were victorious when we defied them; their aim was a "draw" between us and Egypt, so they could come in as "peacekeepers."

And in terms of the water's qualities, I think that everyone who has had different types of water, the purified the "hard" mountain spring water and the "soft," which is popular in coastal areas, especially in the USA, there are differences in taste. Also there are easily measurable differences in the various minerals found in water. Just look at the labels of bottled waters.

Not only people like myself can discern those differences, but our health can be affected, as are the agricultural products. The taste and sweetness of oranges after a couple of strong rains are totally different from that in oranges grown with "treated" water. Compare sawdust with sugar. That's how differently they taste, as far as I'm concerned. I'd rather have a shorter season for the oranges than find myself trying to eat the results of irrigation with purified/desalinated water. A friend who is a farmer here insists that the fruit grown with the industrially treated water is far inferior in quality to that grown with rainwater.

If we keep bragging that we don't need Gd's rain, the greatest gift, anymore, then Gd will turn off the faucets completely. The desalinated water is fine for washing floors and other such chores, but it's no substitute for rain, lakes, streams etc. And we really must remember that our entire existence is dependent on Gd, not our industries and intelligence.