21 Tevet 5771
While the rest of the world is being inundated by water in one form or another (or yet another), Eretz Yisrael is having quite a different experience. Since the beginning of 5771, the six-year-old drought has deepened significantly with only one winter storm to date and fire keeps making the headlines.
Tishrei 5771 : Bnei Brak - 11 Sifrei Torahs Burned in Fire at a Vizhnitz Shul
Kislev 5771 : ISRAEL - Carmel fire is finally under control
Tevet 5771 : Train fire leaves 121 injured
What does it mean? We can look to our prophets for clues.
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Son of man! The house of Israel has become dross to Me; all of them are copper and tin and iron and lead in the midst of a furnace; dross of silver have they become. ...As they gather silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace to blow fire upon it, to melt it, so shall I gather with My wrath and with My fury, and I shall cast you in and melt you. And I shall gather you, and I shall blow upon you with the fire of My anger, and you will be melted in its midst. As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so will you be melted in its midst, and you shall know that I, the Lord, have poured out My fury upon you."
...Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "Son of man, say to her: You are a land that is not cleansed; it was not rained upon on the day of fury...."
And I will bring the third in fire; and I will refine them as one refines silver, and I will test them as one tests gold. He shall call in My name, and I will respond to him. I said, "He is My people"; and he shall say, "The Lord is my God."
If so, then, this is only the beginning.