Good News Friday

Another week has rushed by and it’s time for another Good News Friday post.

Let’s start with the weather – as I have mentioned previously, it has been raining almost non-stop for the last couple of months, dropping almost unprecedented amounts of rain all over the country. The temperatures have plummeted too, bringing loads of snow to Mt. Hermon and other high peaks in the country.

The blessed result of all this rain? The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is rapidly filling up and if it continues at this rate, the authorities will have to open the dam at the southern end of the lake to prevent it overflowing into Tiberias. Opening the dam will allow the water to flow into the River Jordan and from there to the much-depleted Dead Sea.

It’s not a simple decision to open the dam – the timing must be right, and it’s something the Water Authority is mulling:

srael’s Water Authority met Wednesday to set a series a critical water level points at which to give the order to open the Degania Dam which sits between Lake Kinneret — also known as the Sea of Galilee — and the northernmost point of the Jordan River.

The decision is facing Israeli environmental authorities in the remaining months of the winter season, between February to April. This is the time when the final possible chance that rain might fall comes to an end, just as Jews around the world conclude recitation of the blessing for winter rains in the daily services, and begin instead the blessing for morning dew.

The Degania Dam is to be opened only if the level of the lake reaches the upper red line — meaning the lake has reached full capacity.

On Tuesday morning, the level of the lake stood at 210.01 meters below sea level. The upper red line is 208.8 meters below sea level, and the lower red line is 213.0 meters below sea level.

At present, the water level is just 1.22 meters before the point at which the lake will reach full capacity.

Opening the dam would prevent the possible flooding of the communities located near the lake, and would replenish the waters of the Jordan River and onward south to the Dead Sea.

However, there is also a concern that should there be too much water moving too swiftly, it may cause damage to infrastructure and agricultural areas downstream of the Jordan River, in the Yarmouk River and more.

One of the biggest concerns in the danger of waiting too long, because the rise in the level of water may move faster than the speed at which the water can be released from the lake via the Degania Dam.

We have been blessed to have such “problems” as the possibility of the Kinneret overflowing. It is not only the rain that will raise the water level. All that snow on the Hermon will begin to melt as the temperatures rise towards Pesach and that water too will flow down to the lake as well as to the Jordan and its tributaries.

Thank G-d for giving us such rains of blessing this year, and kol hakavod to the Water Authority for managing the water resources in the Kinneret, preventing over-pumping and building desalination plants.

Changing theme completely, Israel’s education system has begun adopting a fantastic new initiative, “80 plus 4″, pairing kindergartens with old age homes. It was based on a similar UK program and Israeli TV has been broadcasting some of the meetings between children and seniors.

It is such a brilliant idea, and the results so heart-warming, so I am extremely proud that my grandson’s kindergarten in Karnei Shomron has joined the 80+4 program together with the Golden Age Center in the community.

Here are some pictures of the first meeting this week (and yes, my grandson is in those pictures 🙂   )

Huge kol hakavod to the local council of Karnei Shomron, their welfare services, the Golden Age center and the Brosh kindergarten and its teachers for taking part. I am sure everyone, from every age group, will benefit hugely from this program.

With these happy thoughts in mind I wish you all Shabbat Shalom, a quiet, peaceful and dry (for a change!) weekend.

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9 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. Pingback: Good News Friday – 24/6 Magazine

  2. Reality says:

    I just saw a clip of the kinneret with waves washing up the steps and onto the seating areas .I was there in December,and the lake was nowhere near that level.It’s amazing.Every summer the last few years,we’ve been lamenting as to how far we walk once we get down the steps,until you get to deepish water. I can’t wait to go again and see it so full.
    That project of 80+4 is so heartwarming.It’s a win win project for seniors and children alike.Kol hakavod to the organisers.And may you have much nachat seeing your grandson participate in it.
    Shabbat shalom

  3. Pingback: Good news weekend : Israel.

  4. Shirlee Finn says:

    Sounds like Sydney. We were on level 2 water restrictions, with the useless Bureau of meteorology forecasting no rain until May, with level 3 water restrictions due to begin in a couple of weeks.
    B’H I have water tanks, so I have plenty of water for outdoors.
    The main supply was down to 40%. Now after a few days of intense rain it is overflowing. About time they are going to do something about the water. People waste it here with no regard for how precious it is.

    Can’t vouch for other states but in NSW Jewish pre-schools they do many activities with us ‘oldies’

    • anneinpt says:

      I’m amazed that you’ve had so much rain after those terrible fires. Thank G-d you did get rain, but they have to learn from Israel how to manage their water conservations.

      The pre-school and seniors is such a beautiful idea isn’t it?

      • Shirlee Finn says:

        Just did a reply from my phone and it vanished into thin air.

        The land burnt in NSW was larger than the whole of South Korea.

        The Bureau of Meteorology said we wouldn’t have any rain until May! The heaven’s opened. We were on strict level 2 water rationing and were going to level 3, first week in March. Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s main water supply was down to 40% now it’s overflowing. We already have the largest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere and not enlarging it. It will be the largest in the world. My brother was a project manager on the first and is one again on this.He not allowed to tell me any more.

        The relevant Minster is not removing restrictions. She is looking at ways to get people to use water wisely. We waste an awful lot. I’ve reported 4 people use water illegally. An inspector has to actually catch people in the act to fine them, but a warning is passed on to them. I sent in photos. I’m OK I have water tanks for outdoor use and I have all Australian natives plants which require little or no water. That’s why our trees flourish in Israel.

        Some towns were dry and water was being shipped in to them in huge tankers.

        It’s crazy why they can’t pipe water down for the north. There is way too much up there in the tropics.

  5. Shirlee Finn says:

    This poem is my favourite. The first verse refers to England.

  6. Shirlee Finn says:

    BTW Belinda said one of the Moriah pre-schools did they. They were on the same grounds of the Montefiore Home. Now the 4 kindys take it to go there on Friday afternoon to sing and do shabbos for them.

  7. Shirlee Finn says:

    Just heard there was a large fire still burning in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) which has been reduced to the “WATCH” list after heavy rain at the weekend. The rain we had only went inland about 100klms.

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