I have just spent the last two days de-mildewing our apartment. Icky-gross-slimy-grimy mold and mildew have been growing along all of our window sills and on the floor of our shower. With rain on the next 8 of 9 days on the forecast, I wanted to get it under control before the wet weather made it worse.
I work hard at cleaning. I promise. Its just the nature of living in Israel. The construction methodology and poor ventilation of our buildings, paired with a wet and dry season, make keeping house challenging. Its mildew in the winter and dust everywhere in the summer. I'd take the dust over the mildew any day, though. Mildew is just plain gross, and beyond that, it can make the inhabitants of a home sick. In the technical classes required for my nearly ten years worth of architecture education, we would often discuss something called Sick Building Syndrome. This is a when building inhabitants develop a set of symptoms that disappear when leaving a particular built space. While the cause is unknown, its likely related to poor ventilation and... dun dun dun... mold.
Mold is a serious contaminant in a home. In Leviticus 14., its actually spoken of as Leprosy of the house. The Hebrew word used in this passage, Nega (lexicon H5061), means stroke, plague, disease, mark, plague spot, stroke, or wound. Great detail is given for how the house should be cleansed and atoned for. While a moldly house is not something that makes us unholy before the Lord, isn't it prudent living to trust His command to avoid this icky substance? This is something I'm learning to call living lawfully, or abiding in the wise principles of Torah to live a life of wellness. Mold wounds us. It strikes those in the home with poor health. The Lord knew this and gave provisions for how to deal with something that would harm His people.
So... I will continue to wipe our walls, tiles, and window sills clean. Meanwhile, I will also be investigating wall sections and natural ventilation methods more suited for this climate. Maybe this will be my great architectural contribution to Eretz Israel: The mold-free home.
Lessons In Line Drying (part 1)
Lessons in Line Drying (part 2)