In addition, they give kabbalists a rare opportunity to hold a "snow incarnation" – a religious-ascetic activity seen as "atoning torment."
Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, the son of prominent kabbalist Rabbi David Batzri, said Wednesday on behalf of his father that the snow falling on Israel was "a good sign sent from God."
He explained that while red signifies offenses, white signifies atonement. In the words of Prophet Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
Opportunity for rectification
Rabbi Batzri added that the timing of the snowfall strengthens the matter even more. Last week, when synagogues read the "Shemot" Torah portion, began the days of the Shovevim (an acronym for the weekly Torah portions of "Shemot", "Va'era", "Bo", B'Shallach", "Yitro" and "Mishpatim").
During these six weeks, according to Kabbalah, it is customary to torture oneself twice a week (on Mondays and Thursdays) for atonement purposes.
'After fasting period begins, we wait for snow' (Photo: Hagai Peretz)
"The kabbalists torment themselves and pray for snow, which is a sign that the Jewish people's sins are being forgiven and erased," Batzri explained.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
"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."
Another reason for celebration is the opportunity given to kabbalists to engage in "snow incarnation" – a "tikkun" (rectification) done by tormenting the body in a bid to atone for religious transgressions, especially sex-related, and prevent their spiritual effects on human beings.
"Days of snow are a days of celebration for kabbalists," Rabbi Batzri quoted Jerusalem kabbalist Rabbi Salman Mutzafi.
The nine incarnations are done in the nude, and because of the risks they are only performed by "elected" people know by the public as special righteous men.
An ordinary person insisting on taking part in the celebration to atone his sins is advised to collect a bit of snow in his hands and "spread" it on different parts of his body, such as the arms and face.
Itzchak Tessler contributed to this report