Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013



In Europe and North America, Christmas traditions involve lots and lots of snow.  There's snowmen, snowballs, snowmobiles and snowglobes.  However, back in the Holy Lands...where the birth of Christ actually occurred...Christmas never means snow.  The Negev Desert is simply too hot.  It boasts an average December temperature around 57 degrees (14 Celsius).

However...for the first time in 120 years...snow has fallen on the Holy Lands!  At the Church of the Nativity on Hevron Street in Bethlehem...the spot generally regarded as the actual location of our dear savior's birth...children are tossing snowballs at each other.  And it's not just a dusting of powder either.  Almost two feet of snow was recorded, with possibly more on the way. 

While it's fun, silly and whimsical for the world's Christians to look at photos of Holy Shrines covered in snow, for the Jews and Muslims who actually live there, the situation is serious.  Four people have died and half of the capital is without power.  "Jerusalem has never seen anything like this" said Mayor Nir Barkat.  The thriving metropolis is at a complete standstill. All roads to the metropolis are blocked, and only the trains are running.

In the nearby Gaza Strip, things are even more dire.  As expected, the lower elevations of Israel have been inundated with flood waters.  Bustling highways have been transformed into rivers of mud.  Overwhelmed sewage treatment facilities have been forced to dump untreated waste into the Mediterranean Sea.  However...the state of emergency forced a temporary suspension of sanctions to the isolated Gaza Strip. Both Israel and Qatar have sent emergency food and fuel supplies to the perilous area.

Finally...despite the difficulties...it's hard not to wonder if the Blizzard of 2013 is of divine origin.  After all, he Bible prophecies about "the treasuries of snow" (Job 38:22) which will bring purification to the Holy Lands.  We here at the DUNER BLOG want to take it a step further.  We see the heavenly snowfall as a gift from God to end social infighting.  From now on, the region will cease to fight any more wars and everyone will live in harmony forever.

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