Makkas Arbeh? Israel Opens Locust Hotline As Devastating Insects Hit Neighboring Egypt Ahead of Pesach

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locustsNo, this isn’t some poor attempt at a post-Purim humor column. This is real.

Israel is on a locust alert as swarms of the destructive bugs have descended on neighboring Egypt ahead of the upcoming Yom Tov of Pesach. Israel’s Agriculture Ministry set up an emergency hotline on Monday and is asking Israelis to be vigilant in reporting locust sightings to prevent an outbreak.

Locusts have a devastating effect on agriculture by quickly stripping crops. Swarms of locusts have descended on Egypt, raising fears they could spread to Israel.

Even the Israelis are worried that the locusts are out to get them. “They may not have ruined Paroh, but they could ruin us,” one farmer, Tzachi Rimon, told Israel’s Channel 10 TV.

It’s been eight years since such a serious assault has hit Egypt’s Cairo region and Israel, said Keith Cressman, the senior locust forecasting officer at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s headquarters in Rome.

“They came from the Sudan-Egypt border after breeding in December and January, flew north along the coast to nearly Suez, then got caught in some winds associated with a low-pressure system over the central Mediterranean to Cairo,” Cressman told NBC News in an email. The weather system moved eastward, and on Monday, changing winds carried the swarm to the northern Sinai Peninsula and Israel’s Negev Desert, he said.

Stay tuned. If there are mass blackouts and Egyptian firstborn start dying, things could get interesting.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

9 COMMENTS

  1. “If there are mass blackouts and Egyptian firstborn start dying, things could get interesting.”

    One can only hope…

  2. The Ramban zt”l quotes a Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 13:4): “‘And that you may relate in the ears of your son,” The Holy One, Blessed is He, let it be known to Moshe what plague He was about to bring upon them, and Moshe hinted at it when he wrote ‘And that you may relate in the ears of your son, and of your grandson,’ this implies the plague of locusts about which it is written (Yoel 1:3), ‘Tell you your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation’”

    Further on (Shemos 10:14), the Ramban quotes Rabbeinu Chananel in his commentary on the Torah: “From the time of Moshe’s prayer (that the locusts should leave Egypt) until today, locusts do not cause damage in all of Egypt. And if they come to Israel and cross into Egypt, they do not eat any of the produce there until this very day. And they say that this is a very well-known fact. Come and see, concerning the frogs, he (Moshe) said (Ibid. 8:5), ‘only in the river shall they remain,’ therefore the Altamtzach lingers there until today. But concerning the locusts it says (Ibid. 10:19), ‘Not a single locust remained within the entire border of Egypt.’ And on this it says (Tehillim 105:2), ‘Speak about all of His wonders.’”

  3. Uh oh! Just another lame excuse to raise the prices on Hand Matzohs! And keep in mind that a lot of the Lulavim come from Egypt so we can expect the prices to go up on those as well! CROOKS!

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