Maybe it’s because we live on a small farm and because we’re all feeling a growing desire to be in Israel, but agriculture in Israel is a common topic of discussion in our house these days. I woke up with it on my mind today, too. I thought I’d share what came through in my e-mail today and I may have to preface it with what came earlier too.
Israel has been in a drought for some time, and last year the water needs outweighed the water availability. It’s been a critical situation. A few weeks ago there were heavy rains in the negev (desert area) and snowfall even in Jerusalem. The rainy season has brought some good rains and there is a good snowpack in the mountains, the runoff should help bring up the water level in the Sea of Galilee. Everyone needs water.
Israel Today says:
Heavy rains bring Israel’s Sea of Galilee above ‘red line’
A weekend of heavy rain across Israel brought the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s main fresh water reservoir, up above its “red line” for the first time in over a year.
The red line indicated the level at which Israel should seriously consider halting the pumping of water from the Sea of Galilee in order to avoid permanent environmental damage to the lake.
But the ongoing needs of the populace outweighed the dangers to the lake, and pumping reluctantly continued, even after the Sea of Galilee dropped below the red line in early 2009.
Later in the year, the government set a new “black line” at 215 meters below sea level, at which point water could under no circumstances be drawn from the lake. At the start of winter, the lake was only half a meter from the black line.
But the weekend downpour, which hit the hardest in northern Israel, added more than 10 centimeters to the lake. Together with the rest of the winter rainfall, and the expected runoff from the snow accumulated on Mt. Hermon, the Sea of Galilee is now safely above the red line, for the time being.
With these rains the foliage is going to be spectacular! There are various Bible verses that speak of rains falling in the desert and that’s exactly what we’ve seen, the grass grows and the animals living in the desert praise HaShem for His glorious provision of food and water. The people are praising Him too.
Planting trees and vineyards has significant meaning in the near east. There are many ministries who will plant trees in your honor if you send them a donation. Be careful who you send your money to, we in the west don’t often realize the significance of what planting trees means. Israel Today sent another e-mail today:
This looks like a good year for farmers in Israel!
HaYovel is a humanitarian organization that helps bring together farmers in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) who need help preparing for the harvest and bringing in the harvest with people who want to be servants and are willing to get their hands dirty. It’s a ministry that is right up our alley! Two years ago they took around 25 people to help with the grape harvest, last year they took about 100 and this year the governor of Samaria has requested that they bring 10,000 people with them! The people have been watching and have decided that this is the kind of mindboggling help they need, the kind of help that the prophets indicate will come.
We are hoping to go with HaYovel this harvest season to help. Last year I read that there was much produce left unharvested. HaShem is bringing incredibly abundant produce to Israel, so much so that there aren’t enough workers to bring it all in. Last year they were in a drought. This year there has been good rain. What will the harvest be like this fall?!? We’d like to go and find out, go and help. If it’s HaShem’s will for us, we will be in Judea and Samaria along with 10,000 other volunteers.