Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Memorial to a long-forgotten Tragedy - The Flash Floods in Tiberias in 1934

In 1935 Eliyahu Shahor published a curious little book titled בקשות מהאדרא זוטא קדישא : על הקבר רשב"י בל"ג בעומר, לקוטים מזוהר הקדוש גם שירי בר יוחאי
containing special prayers to be said at the grave-site of Rashbi in Meron on Lag Baomer. Shahor describes himself as a native of Tiberias, an official antiquities dealer, Jerusalem, Mahane Yehuda, opposite Bate Horodna.

At end of book appears a memorial to the victims of the flood in Tiberias, which occurred in 1934. In recent history, probably nothing has devastated Tiberius as much as flash floods, particularly a freak storm and flood that struck the town in May 1934, ostensibly after the Holy Land's rainy season. Five thousand residents were made homeless by the two days of flooding which led to mud and rock slides that cascaded down on the city, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency report at the time.  More than 30 people died.(1)

A main street in Tiberius. The worst flood struck in 1934. This photo is dated
1938. (pictures are from the University of Dundee's Unlocking the Medicine
Chest, Torrance collection)

(1) here

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