Little-Known Facts About Snow in Jewish Tradition and Lore

  • Many traditional Jewish congregations refuse to count snowmen in the prayer quorum.

  • Medieval Jewish mystics practiced rolling in the snow to purge themselves from evil urges. They were the first snow angels.

  • Moses Maimonides, 10th century physician to the Egyptian Khalif, prescribed snow as a cure for the hot Cairo summers.

  • The elders of Safed have 36 different words for snow -- but none for snow removal.

  • During 3 particularly cold Sinai winters, the Israelites were led by a pillar of snow.

  • It is forbidden to write in the snow on the Sabbath.

  • Following the great Jerusalem blizzard of 1900, Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl proposed the "Uganda option."

  • According to some rabbinic authorities, one must wait six hours between going out in the snow and in the rain.

  • On snowy days, the procession of King Solomon's immediate family was pulled by 2,800 reindeer and 1,200 huskies.

  • Israel's national hockey team participated in the 1992 Winter Games, dominating both the Olympic village and concession area.

  • On January 9, 1896, a snowball from St. Patrick's elementary school landed in Mrs. Manischewitz's kitchen, inspiring her to invent matzo ball soup.

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