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al-Bassa - البصة : Miracle in Al Bassa
Posted by Eid Haddad on May 19, 2004
This is one of the real and unusual stories, which happened in Al Bassa. The story tells about a miracle, which took place in a dry spring season about 10 or 11 years before the Nakba (the occupation of Palestine in 1948, and the creation of the Zionist state). According to old Bassawis (Al Bassa villagers), that spring was very dry, and even winter was not so generous with rain. The Bassawis were very worried about their crops, because grain, hay and olives were the main source of their living. Lots of Bassawis used to pay back their one year´s dept from the harvest of the following year. The Bassawis were very worried, especially the poorest ones and those who owed a lot. The poorest were worried, because they did not have much, while the richest were worried, because they would lose much.

A lot of Bassawis had a tradition of playing cards and gambling on their next year’s crops. That was a tradition, which the Khammaras and cafés in Al Bassa made possible to keep (khammara is a traditional Palestinian pub and café normally for men). Actually it was the gamblers, who were the most worried, because they would not have anything to gamble on. The Bassawi Christians could not find any practical solution to that problem except to go to the Catholic priest George Bittar to find a solution. The priest held a mass at the Church, and later he went with the crowds (Catholics and Orthodox) to Al Bayader square (an open area near the southern entrance to Al Bassa, which was used to gather the crops after the harvest).

The crowds and the priest carried the church´s cross, some sacred icons, and the Holy Communion to that square, while others ringed the bells of the two Churches of Al Bassa. At that time my father was still a boy, and he was one of those who carried the sacred icons. At Al Bayader the priest carried on with the holly mass. Sometime later the Moslem Bassawis came and joined in prayer with their Christian Bassawi brothers and sisters. All the Bassawis prayed and chanted for many hours. Suddenly a dark cloud appeared in the sky and started raining heavily. The Bassawis kept on praying and chanting until every shiber (a hand measure equal to 25 cm) in Al Bassa got soaked with rain-water.

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