Sunday, December 22, 2013


It took a couple of hours before it began to stick.
It snowed recently in Jerusalem. It started light, but there were two waves later on and they are officially calling it 40-65 cm altogether. Certainly enough to disrupt daily life, close the schools etc. Lots of issues with electricity, traffic and other asopect of daily life. Here are two photographs from our window, from the early hours.

It snows here in Jerusalem about once a year, but according to this historical chart (which tracks from 1870), about once every ten years it gets up to 30 cm.  Back in the last days of the Turks, there were some monster snows of 75 and 90 cm.

And it kept coming down for a few more hours..
The first year I was in Israel, there was a famously big 30 cm snowfall that shut down everything in Jerusalem, the first big one in a dozen years. I was not in Jerusalem at the time.

The following year, I was here in Jerusalem and a few days before Tu BeShevat, on 29 January 1969, it snowed. This was not like the foot of snow that fell the previous year, snow that truly shut everything down. This was a mere 10 cm, that shut down the city on novelty value alone. People walked down the street carrying umbrellas.

There are twenty-three photos below, some of the Old City and some from Carmon Street in Bet HaKerem, where I was living at the time.

The Old City photos include some taken from atop the walls - we walked them often, back before the government limited access - and some taken from the window of an Arab school near the Lion's Gate, overlooking the Temple Mount. I had broken my right leg a few weeks earlier and was in a cast to just below the knee.

The photos on Carmon include the street in front of the building and the view across to the university campus at Giv'at Ram. The Begin Expressway is nowhere to be seen. (We used to walk through the valley to the campus.)

The young fellow who appears in a the middle photograph of the last triplet is Sam Weissman of Los Angeles.There are two other people who ought to be in these pictures, but aren't.  Maybe because we saw them later in the day, when it was too dark for good pictures...

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