An early winter cold snap that struck much of the Middle East last week left most of Israel shivering. The snow across the length and breadth of the Jewish state closed schools and major roads, knocked down power lines, and sent Israelis scurrying for electric heaters and rarely needed cold weather clothing.
For many citizens, the below-freezing temperatures meant burst water pipes. Even citizens of normally balmy Tel Aviv experienced the freeze. In Jerusalem, visitors crowded into Sacher Park to see the green grounds covered in white.
In the brief time before typical Mediterranean temperatures returned and the show melted, Jews in Israel and Arabs in the West Bank played outside, skating and sledding and snowboarding and throwing snowballs, walking tenuously on the frozen ground and making short-lived snowmen.
A worshipper at the Western Wall found plenty of space for prayers, with most of the plaza virtually deserted.
One group of Israelis found the snowfall particularly disappointing. Skiers. The road to the country’s sole skiing resort, on Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, was closed. By snow.