In Israel, when November comes around, winter begins abruptly. We all are davening for mashiv
ha’ruach, but sometimes we wish that the rain only falls directly into Israeli water reservoirs so that we
don’t have to deal with the rain. Here are a few winter hacks to help you have a more pleasant winter.
1. Protect yourself from mold: Winter in Israel usually brings about a very unwanted substance – mold. A very simple and effective way
to avoid having mold is to leave the windows open (when it’s not raining). This allows for the moisture in
the air to evaporate properly and not sit on your walls (which causes mold to grow). If you already have
mold you can easily wipe it away with bleach. Be sure to wipe it down thoroughly and re-apply bleach as
you don’t want to just spread the mold from one area to another.
2. In America it’s very common to wear Uggs – those boots will not help you here – even if they are water
proof. Winter in Israel usually just means a lot of cold rain. The best thing to do is buy a pair of sturdy
rain boots and insulate them with fuzzy socks. Many times the weather will not report any rain, but it can, and very often does, come unexpectedly in buckets. A simple way to avoid getting wet is to leave a shein coat both at kollel and at home, saving
yourself from a lot of agmas nefesh.
3. A lot of diras are equipped with a dud shemesh which works amazingly during the spring and summer
time, but if this is your first winter in Israel, you will have to learn to remember to turn on your dud. This
is a learning process, as some boilers will take as short as 30 minutes to warm up for a long shower,
while others take two hours before getting warm. If your dud has a timer – you are in luck, just
remember to set it. Although many people are hesitant to turn on the dud too early, it may be worth
your while to turn it on when you remember. You may save a few sheckel by only turning it on when you
“need” to, but most of the time you end up with a cold shower. If you forgot to turn on the dud and you desperately need to bathe the kids – just plug the bath, turn up the kumkum and dump a few liters of boiling water in the bath Afterwards turn on the water and mix
the cool water around with the boiling water until its at the right temperature for a bath – usually only
takes five minutes. Before doing all this though, make sure you turn on the dud so that when the bath is
done, you can shower comfortably.
4. The air conditioning units in Israel are also equipped to provide heat. If you are not feeling warm air
blow, check the filter inside the AC. You take off the cover of the unit and you will see a filter spanning
across the width of the unit. Take it off and you may see that it is extremely dirty and collected a lot of
dust. This prevent the air flow. To clean it just put it in your bath and run water over it. Afterwards leave
it outside to dry for about 2 hours and then put it back in the unit. If you checked your filter and saw
that it is clean but still feel that the hot air is not coming, wait a few minutes. It can take good seven
minutes until the unit actually lets off hot air.
5. Make the most of the cold air outside. If you are having a lot of guests, or you just want to always make
sure your drinks are cold – just leave them outside. They will get very cold and this helps save room in
6. You family will probably be sniffling a lot and you will need to stock up on tissues. In Israel, it sometimes
is hard to get good quality tissues, like puffs that are soft on the skin. A good way to avoid rashes by the
nose is to apply a little Vaseline before blowing. Your kids’ sensitive skin will feel a lot better. Also avoid
bathing to often as the winter here is pretty brutal and you kids skin will be a lot more sensitive. Too
many baths can lead to dry and raw skin.
Hatzlacha braving the winter and keep in mind gishmei bracha!