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Meet you in Hell!  Random thoughts out of Israel’s worst heatwave since the last one.


Sunday the weather starts warming up, and the weatherMA-person  says it should break by Tuesday, but by Monday night he’s already saying till Thursday, and the Wednesday report says it’s gong to be hotter still and even more and the only  thing they can find to comfort us with is that in Iran its 52 and you have to keep your veil on.  Rav Sanjanee briefly flirted with the idea of hosting a wet purdah competition for this hammest of the hammseens, but was quickly voted down by his cabinet because of the  suggestively forbidden terms such as “wet”  “flirt” “briefly” and “idea.”

  The air conditioner is on overdrive and you can only feel it if you’re right inside grid, and by now you realize that you’re in for one of those long ones and the weathermen don’t know S- H I .  ning sun from roasting sun.


You go to change your shirt yet again, and the new one is drenched in sweat even before you put it on. And the news comes on, and you realize that the way the weather people have no idea if it’s ever going to cool down, but go on with their predictions anyway, that’s what the people who are running the country are doing with the country.


          Everybody talks about the weather, said Oscar Wildly, but Only a religious right winger,   would actually try to do something about it, and the way the winds are blowing in  today’s climate she  would probably get arrested before she could try.


          I don’t live in Tel Aviv or Haifa, thank G-d, because – though the actual temperature is cooler, and you get a nice breeze off the sea from 6:15 to 6:25, as long as you are living on the 10 foot strip of sand and stinging jellyfish that forms the border between the Mediterranean and the solid wall of high risers that the T A real estate developers put up to defend the fledgling state from comfort and environmentalists.  The thermometer hovers around 32 but the catch is the humidity.  As the heat wave – or Shaarav (translation “Why didn’t Moses go to Caanada”) rolls on, the sea steams up and the humidity goes so high that your sweat glands back up. 

          Kiriat Shmona is drier, We’re on the Etsba—the Galilee finger or “Pan handle”, a particularly hot strip of territory flowing from Rosh Pina to Metulla.  Just now it feels like the finger just got stuck in the oven, or somebody stuck the pan in the fire backward.  This brings me to our fridj.


          We don’t have a new fridj.  Our first fridj came with my wife, who, when I finally agreed to marry her, still had immigrants’ rights to purchase the 5 basic household appliances:  a fridj, stove, TV , washing machine and greedy Israeli mate; in this case me..    19 years of marriage have etched many changes into the body and soul of my wife, but some of them are good ones.  I can’t say  as much for the fridj.  It works well enough until somebody open’s the door to get a drink.  Then, as the repairman explains with a shrug of his whole body, it starts to suck up moisture.  It sucks up so much moisture that the St. Peter’s fish in the Kineret have been heard to recite the Shma.  And then, when the door is closed again, it turns it into ice.  So the next time I want a salami sandwich, I find the sausage frozen into a huge block of ice, starting from way in the back, and moving forward with a grinding noise.  I swear that the last time took a hammer to it to carve out some margarine, I found long, coarse hairs which the lab claims are woolly mammoth, all over Leonardo de Caprio’s undershorts.


All it takes is my son to leave the door open.   When the crest of the heat wave meets the tip of the Silverberg iceberg, you get a clap of thunder like Matter meeting Antimatter and Fadda meeting Antifadda.  We scatter for the shelter only to remember that it’s still being built. But it’s underground, and cool and dark, and a good place for the family to get together for some quality time and pray for rain.


/B Z S, July 25, 200000



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