Heavy rain accompanied by numerous thunderstorms struck in numerous places around Eretz Yisrael Tuesday, causing hundreds of Sukkos to collapse, with some causing damage to cars situated near them. The storms also led to the collapse of many trees hit by lightning, and a sukkah in Bnei Brak caught fire after lightning hit a cable nearby.

Five members of one family were also hit by lightning as they sat on a beach near Ashkelon. Asher Hazut(14) is in critical condition, while his sister-in-law Efrat (21) is in serious condition after they were hit by lightning and electrocuted while trying to escape the stormy weather. Three other members of the family, including Efrat’s husband Elazar, are in moderate condition.

The unusually stormy weather is set to continue in some regions of Israel on Wednesday. Although such weather is usually considered to be a curse when falling on Sukkos, the Chasam Sofer (Drashos) maintains that after a leap year is established by Beis Din and they have acted in order to move the winter to a later date, the rain falling on Sukkos is considered to be at its natural time and this cannot be considered a curse. The present year follows a leap year and thus the rains can be considered a blessing.