When the Sirens Wail

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I’ve been having a difficult time formulating into words how the past couple of days have been for us, as a family. Truth be told, I didn’t really think the blogosphere needed to hear our rendition of what happened when the sirens wailed in Jerusalem on Friday night. Do you all really want to hear what I think? But then, the women of the IDF’s Facebook page, posted this video this morning. And, while watching it, I was absolutely appalled. I don’t know why it surprised me so much, that the children in the South of Israel should play pretend rocket fire. And, once my shock wore off, I was filled with just unbelievable sadness and anger.

So, here’s the bullet point version of how we’re doing and how I’m feeling:

  • Angry at the media – I’m just so unbelievably angry with the mainstream press right now. As someone who makes a living working with journalists on a daily basis, the mainstream news coverage of Operation Pillars of Defense, is shameful. If you don’t believe me, check out Honest Reporting’s live blogging of the media coverage. It’s the job of a journalist to check their facts, to not be one-sided. To report the news, not some made up version of reality. I was really upset that CNN’s Anderson Cooper got to Israel and went, immediately, to the Gaza Strip. Why didn’t he position himself in Sderot, Ashkelon or Ashdod? There are hundreds of missiles launched at those areas EVERY single day! Why didn’t he interview the families sitting Shiva in Kfar Malachi, where a direct rocket hit killed 3 innocent civilians and wounded many others? He could have gotten plenty of rocket shots, and spoken to the traumatized people in the South of Israel. Are the war images on this side of the Gaza border not as compelling? Well, why not?
  • Anxious – After Friday night’s siren and rocket attack at Jerusalem, I’ve been on constant edge. In my head, I hear the siren wailing over and over, and I’m poised to run for cover. Every time I go to the bathroom (sorry for the image), I wonder if the siren is going to go off in the middle. During bath time, diaper changing time, and when the baby is strapped into her carriage or high chair, I wonder if the siren will go off. I wonder if I would have enough time to take her out, grab my other child, and run safely to the Mamad (reinforced bomb shelter in our home). When I leave my house to go out for errands on foot, I look around to see where I would hide during an attack. Do I knock on stranger’s doors and beg to come inside to use their bomb shelter, or do I just lie down on the ground with my hands covering my head. What do I do when I’m walking with my girls, alone? How do I shelter a wriggling 19 month old and a frightened 4 year old? When my husband is driving to and from work, I wonder what he would do during a siren. Would he have time to pull over to the side of the road, exit the vehicle, and find shelter? 90 seconds is what we have in Jerusalem. We don’t have an Iron Dome defense system nearby, and so any missile launched our way will definitely have ground impact. Could I get us all to safety in 90 seconds? Can you imagine what people are doing with only 15 seconds? I don’t need to imagine it, I see it on the news. Comprehending is quite another matter.
  • Disappointed with America’s Rabbinic Authority – Majority of my family and friends are supportive of the operation here in Israel. They understand that no one should have to live under the constant threat of rocket fire. But then, an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi named Eliyahu Fink, goes ahead and writes this blog post about war. He subsequently apologized in this post, but I think the damage was done. My response to his first post was a not nice word, which I posted on my friend’s Facebook page when she shared his blog post. This started a Twitter war with Rabbi Fink, where he questioned my ability to have intelligent conversation. I think having intelligent conversation under 140 characters is difficult. At the end of the day, his initial post makes me question the role of Rabbi in the community. Sure, every man and woman has a right to their opinion. But, I do believe that a pulpit Rabbi has more of a responsibility towards his congregation. And, one of the biggest responsibilities, is to provide factual information. I’m disappointed in Rabbi Fink, not for having his opinion, but for choosing to share it with the world in this manner.
  • Frustrated – No one wants a war, but no one wants to live under rocket fire either. I’m just so frustrated with all of this. Look, why can’t we all just do our OWN things. You do you down in Gaza, and we’ll do us here in Israel. We just want to live our lives! We just want to have kids, go on vacations, listen to music, dance at our celebrations, go to the movies, pig out on junk food, pray in our synagogues, and just be US. Why can’t we be allowed to do that? Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jewish, it DOESN’T matter! Really, why can’t we all just get along? The world should be big enough for all of us to coexist together, respectfully.
  • Appreciative – I’m SO unbelievably appreciative to the people who have shown support for us and for Israel. Whether it was on my Twitter feed, or in private messages and phone calls. The support is what keeps me moving, keeps me sane, keeps my family together.
  • Thankful to G-d – for the IDF, Iron Dome, the Miluimnikim (reservists) who have left their families, jobs, and lives, to mobilize down in the South and prepare to defend this Country when the time is right. And, for keeping my family and friends safe during such a difficult time.

So, there you have it. I’m praying this Operation will end soon, with minimal civilian casualties on both sides. And that we all can just live in peace.

The children in this video should be playing pretend hero, firefighter, baker, falafel maker! They shouldn’t be playing pretend missile attack. That’s a cruel and terrible atmosphere for children to grow up in.

And it’s time they stop having to.

 

 

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