December 2012 continued to break precipitation records over the weekend, as heavy rainfall across central and northern Israel filled the Sea of Galilee, swelled rivers and streams and brought 60-70 centimeters of snow to the summit of Mount Hermon.*emphasis mine
The Sea of Galilee has now seen the largest December increase in the last 20 years*, rising 18 centimeters over the weekend. The Israel Water Authority estimated that the level would rise a further 7 centimeters on Sunday from runoff, bringing the total level to 212 meters below sea level.The current mark is still an immense three meters, however, below the lake’s “upper red line” – 208.9 meters below sea level — at which the Degania Dam is opened to allow an increased flow into the Jordan and prevent the lake from flooding the city of Tiberias and other towns along its shore.
In actuality, I don't think this amount is all that exceptional. We have had insufficient rain for the past twenty years. This year's rain isn't all that much compared to what we used to get in a normal year. It's just after a drought of many years, it seems like a lot. I remember when heavy rains on Succot weren't rare, and you couldn't make outdoor plans for Chanukah.
Our weather is usually according to the Jewish Calendar, and this is one of the years when the Jewish dates come earlier on the goyish/Christian calendar. That means that December is more like late-December early January and should be compared to that time of the year. And when we do that, I don't think the amount of rain and the height of the Kinneret are all that exceptional.
For those who don't know, Israel only gets rain in the winter. Generally our rainy season, according to the Jewish Calendar, is from just after Succot (early October) until just before Passover (early April.) It's not unheard of for there to be rain during Succot and even a month after Passover. I've even experienced quick rainfalls in late August.
Chazal, our sages tell us that the quantity of rain, and its timing, are given by G-d according to how well we the Jewish People keep His Torah and obey the Mitzvot, Commandments. As an agricultural people, the quantity and timing of the rains are extremely important, crucial for our lives and economy, even today.
Modern life is very water wasting. The Israeli Government over the years has had been forced to raise the price of water to try to get people to use/waste less. One of the media encouraged campaign issues against the Likud has been the price of water. Every day the media here promotes another anti-government special interest group exaggerating government blame for something or other. Last night they had a tiny group of people, mostly handicapped, claiming that they couldn't afford to take a shower. They blamed it all on Bibi of course. That's politics.
But I have no doubt that if we would all respect the Land as a Jewish Land given to us by G-d for living and building for Jews, we'd have more rain, water and even cheaper housing. Simply put, that's the key. Israel's "Laws of Nature" are a bit different from what you'll find in the rest of the world.
Everything looks so beautiful after a rain...