By the time I managed to drag myself through the heat to the newspaper's offices, my more agile colleagues had snapped up all the week's hot topics. And although I had already planned what to write about Rabbi Mordechai Elon's alleged sex scandal, the only topic left for me was the weather.
Nowadays it is clear that this meteorological havoc is a kind of punishment by the earth for harming, destroying and polluting it. At first our planet kept quiet and did not react, but when it saw we were getting meaner and meaner toward it, it could not restrain itself and started to smite us with harsh blows.
A heat wave in the middle of winter is one such example. A concurrent cold snap in Europe is a warning to Europeans to mend their ways. The religious pattern of rewards for the righteous and punishment for the wicked, with the final punishment preceded by warnings (as in the 10 plagues in Egypt), has been moved into the arena of meteorology with unimaginable success.
"What a crappy country," said the cab driver who brought me to the office. He has learned from reading the news that there is a direct connection between the fact that the state is impoverishing him by encouraging an increase in the number of city taxis - and air pollution. And air pollution causes the heat wave, which is punishing the state, which is making life hard for him, and so on and so forth. Just like in the rousing song about the old lady who swallowed a fly, or the postprandial Passover song "Had Gadya."
Ecology, in other words, is the new theology. The illogic of the world can be explained by a jealous and vengeful God who punishes sons for the sins of their fathers.
On Monday on the international French station, I heard the meteorologist accompany the show of temperatures around the world with a recommendation to take trains and travel by air as little as possible, as airplanes emit gases which pollute the atmosphere.
That same day there was a terrible train crash in Brussels. A lot of people will no longer be leaving a carbon footprint, while their friends who were in a polluting airplane at the time are alive and breathing. God works in mysterious ways.
The power accumulated by the meteorologist's profession, after having been the butt of jokes for years, has made him the equivalent of the Egyptian soothsayers or the Temple priests in Jerusalem. The weathermen of today are the conduits through which God speaks to the people and they can divine his hidden intentions.
Everyone is feeling the heat wave, but some people do not see beyond the tip of their nose, whereas there are those who have been blessed with the ability to see even as far as next Monday.
So may God shine his countenance down upon us and bring to our drought-stricken land some of the wet stuff lying around Europe.
Here is another myth spread by local meteorological theory: The colder, rainier and snowier it is in Europe, the hotter and drier it is in Israel and the greater the chance that rain will not fall. That is, we get a barometric high and they get a barometric low. It's us against them - they, with their cool indifference (their silence during the Holocaust), versus our warmth and caring.
You thought a heat wave in the middle of winter would break us? It only makes us stronger and makes it clear to us again that we are different, that our spirit will not falter in the face of the Goldstone weather report.
Moreover, oh merciful meteorology, isn't it true you love us and will not give Ahmadinejad any help? He's saying a war will break out between Iran and Israel this summer. And now, you've done your hocus-pocus and switched around the seasons. If it is now summer in the middle of February, maybe snow will fall in July and the word of the wicked will be worthless, for meteorology is with us.
But, nevertheless, it's impossible - while sticking to meteorology - not to mention the wave of warmth wafting this week around Rabbi Mordechai Elon, who has been accused of sexual harassment. One after another, in front of the television cameras, masses of yeshiva boys and students of wise men, some of them strong, sexy and handsome the way hesder yeshiva boys (who combine military service and religious studies) can be, went up to Elon, pressed their warm bodies against him and embraced him.
Some murmured consoling words into his ear, all for the sanctification of the Holy Name. Perhaps after all it will turn out there is indeed something to the myth that when it's warm in one place, it will be cold somewhere else.
Maybe when the heated ardor of the Zionist religious youth turns to defending the good name of their rabbi and the notion that "among us that sort of thing doesn't exist," their fervor to run amok among their Palestinian neighbors will cool a bit. Blessed art thou, our god the weather.
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