Jerusalem – Prominent Kabbalist Says Israel’s Snowstorm Heavenly Sign Of Forgiveness


    Orthodox Jewish men seen praying at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem's Old City, on a snowy winter morning. January 10, 2013. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90Jerusalem – Even as Israel confronts its worst snowstorm in two decades, kabbalists have found a reason to rejoice amid the snow-induced frenzy.

    According to a report in Yediot Ahronoth (, Rabbi David Batzri, a well-known kabbalist, said the snow falling on Israel is a Heavenly sign, “a good sign sent by God” to the Jewish nation that their sins have been forgiven. Rabbi Batzri’s message was conveyed through his son, Rabbi Yitzchak Batzri.

    Quoting the Book of Isaiah, Rabbi Yitzchak Batzri explained that red is symbolic of sin, while white represents atonement. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

    Rabbi Batzri also said the timing of the snowfall is significant because the Jewish people are in the period of the “Shovevim” (acronym for the Torah portions of Shemot, Va’era, Bo, B’Shalach, Yitro and Mishpatim). According to kabbalah, it is customary during these six weeks for one to inflict torture on oneself on Mondays and Thursdays as a means of gaining atonement.

    “The kabbalists torment themselves and pray for snow, which is a sign that the Jewish people’s sins are being forgiven and erased,” Rabbi Batzri said. “Just like in the Temple, when the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and pray for the people of Israel’s sins to be forgiven, the sign for forgiveness was the scarlet cord that would turn white. The same applies for kabbalists, who after the beginning of the fasting period, wait for snow as a sign that God has forgiven the people’s sins.”

    When snow falls in Israel, kabbalists also engage in a “snow incarnation” – a “tikkun” (rectification) which is also performed by “tormenting the body” to atone for religious sins. A total of nine incarnations are completed during this time.

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