Camping and rain are generally not considered to be a blessing… And, having spent a few years in the military with countless days in the bush, I concur.
The one big difference is Sukkot, or the fall Feast of Tabernacles, spoken of in Leviticus 23, the Feast that all believers in Messiah will keep in the future. See Zechariah 14:16-21.
Israel has very dry summers and most rain comes in the winter months. Rain during Sukkot is considered a blessing from Yah and portents His Hand of blessing for the coming year. So, most desire the relative discomfort of a rainy day during Sukkot because of the portent of blessing.
This year my wife and a couple sons have the blessing of spending the last few days of Sukkkot with Frank Houtz and Beit Minorah, (see website for beautiful pics of last year’s Sukkah!) of Winchester KY. We came to fellowship with good friends Frank Houtz and Wade Barrow, both of whom we met in Israel at the First Bney Yosef National Congress back in May. The excuse we used was our invitation to come teach a little map reading and land navigation course. Accomplished some of that, but the inclement weather has prevented setting up and running a land nav course on Wade’s farm, as we had planned.
So good to have time to fellowship with them again, meet Ken Rank face to face and get to know lots of other mishpocha (family) we have
never met. I didn’t get a picture of ‘tentmahal’ (Taj mahal…), but one family camping has this down to an absolute science with a setup that rivals many homes.
Rain has been the order of the day… Not too heavy, but very steady with lots of wind. We have an older tent that is large and roomy and needs replacing, but we thought we’d use it one more time… Oooops! Not bad, really. A few leaks, but Kelly noticed a neighbor’s tent entirely encased in a ginourmous tarp and while on a shopping run decided to acquire similar rain protection.
We strung a line between two trees and threw the tarp over giving enough protection to cover the whole tent and a half acre behind us. You should see how much is rolled up!!
So, we are cheerful as are all of the others at the site with a wonderful place to worship that is warm and cozy, the Beit Minorah sanctuary in one end of the new Jefferson College at Pilot View, an incredible blessing that will be used to teach/train the next generation. (Last year was the rainiest Sukkot in history for Beit Minorah and since then, they have purchased, at an incredible deal, an elementary school that is to be converted into a college to teach Hebrew and Greek linguistics as well as Biblical interpretation methods. Beautiful place that I’ll have to write more about in the near future!!) Further, the school cafeteria has been a boon for cooking and hanging out in a dry space.
So… If rain is a blessing during Sukkot, I can tell you, the Messianic Body on the east coast of the US will be the most blessed people on earth in the coming year!! Between hurricane Joaquin and a previous weird storm system, we have been utterly drenched this week, and I know the HUGE Sukkot gathering at Elijah Clark State Park has been inundated!!
Shalom to all my friends out there and Chag Sameach!! May this coming year be filled with blessings from the hand of King Messiah!! Maybe, just maybe, we see the freedoms that come with the Yovel…