In a letter, Israel's Chief Rabbis, Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger, expressed their gratitude to G-d for the heavy rains Israel has received this winter season – and called on Israelis to open their hearts, and wallets, to help those who cannot afford to heat their homes or eat properly during the difficult winter season.
“There are tens of thousands of needy people and elderly who cannot afford to heat their homes or properly protect it from the wind and rain,” the rabbis wrote. “Let us open our eyes and search out the needy person from our street or neighborhood who needs our help. Let us do whatever we can, from giving them a cup of soup to giving them a roof to sleep under, until the rains let up,” the letter said.
“Days like these are blessed for most of us, but they are very difficult for the poor,” the rabbis wrote.
Stormy weather, including high winds and heavy rainfall, lashed Israel on Monday, downing power lines and trees and causing several injuries. “The storms injured six people, most of whom were lightly hurt when trees were knocked over," Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri told news agencies. Earlier Monday, the winds were gusting at speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (74 miles per hour). Several trees fell on the Temple Mount, causing police to close the Mount to visitors for several hours, while electricity outages caused by downed power lines were reported throughout the country.
In their letter, the rabbis said that “we must express our thanks to G-d for His goodness, at all times. He is always kind and generous, and especially now we can see His beneficence,” they wrote, referring to the heaviest rains that Israel has seen in years. “We are obligated to thank Him, and the best way to do this is to support the poor in their time of difficulty.”
Forecasters predict heavy rain until the weekend.