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Description: The weather in Israel at this time is often characterized by hot winds. In Hebrew the more "proper" name is sharav - but the popular name is the Arabic hamsin (or khamsin). The name hamsin has nothing to do with the Hebrew word cham - hot.
The word hamsin in Arabic actually means fifty. This derives from an Arabic tradition that there are 50 days of these hot winds. Judaism has a similar tradition. To understand this, it's important to note that despite Hebrew words for the four seasons known in English, the climate in the Land of Israel really only includes two seasons - summer and winter. Between each season there is a transitional period that is a very sensitive time for agriculture. Untimely heat, rain or winds can cause great damage to the crops.
Uploaded on 4/17/2007 5:47:19 AM
Made with Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Digital Camera
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© Hermin Abramovitch
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