29 November!

Ok, let’s address this situation. I have had so many people ask me today what the significance of November 29th is. You guys! It is the anniversary of the passing of the UN Partition Plan. That miracle of miracles that gave us our own land!

Surely you’ve seen this a thousand times, but it never gets old, right? (Until I figure out how to do this automatically, start at 15:02)

 

You can also find a nicely done documentary with some background here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrIjzUK0FKg&feature=share

This is, of course, what the street כ”ט בנובמבר in Katamon is named after. (Note that by calling it “Kaf-tet b’November,” they’ve actually fused the Jewish dating system with the secular one. Nice.)

And yes – Abbas’s move is, if nothing else, poetic.

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All Quiet on the Northwestern Front

Second rocket-free day in Tel Aviv. Thanks, Hamas! There are talks of a ceasefire now (welcome, Hil) and while I’m not convinced that this is in our best interest, I can definitely get on board with a few of the things it would bring:

1. A reprieve for the people in the South. The barrage of rockets today absolutely took my breath away. They deserve a break.

2. The ability to turn off the radio for a little while. 24 hours of no Heal the World! A chance to play my new CD mix! (Yes, you read that correctly). A break from instructions of what to do in case of a siren, for those who have been living under a rock!

3. A chance for someone to build an Iron Dome for Jerusalem… Genius scientists, are you listening?

Hoping for a quieter day tomorrow.

תושבי הדרום, I am so, so sorry

I’m sorry I haven’t been paying more attention to you. I’m sorry I haven’t visited since Operation Cast Lead. I’m sorry I haven’t been counting rockets with you. I don’t know how you live like this.

I’m in awe of you driving to work, to school, to the supermarket every day, after spending my commute this morning considering which ditch I’d jump into if there was a siren.

I’m heartbroken by the fact that your children have to learn a song about red alerts:

 

I’m listening to the countless sirens on the radio today, my heart skipping a beat each time they announce an azaka, skipping two beats as they announce lists of cities one after the other, until I hear that it’s not in Tel Aviv. I’m so sorry that this means that it’s still you. It’s still you panicking, running, rockets hitting your homes. Still you.

I’m sorry.

Flag me, baby!

ImageRemember this guy? You probably recognize it from the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, i.e. Yom Ha’atzmaut. Well, I saw one today on my way home from work. And while it’s entirely possible that someone had just not bothered to remove it from their car since May, I was inspired.

I happen to have a rental car, so I went home, dug through my closet, and pulled out a car flag (for some reason, I have like eight of these even though I’ve never owned a car). I figure, at best this guy and I will start a trend; I’m worst, I’m driving around displaying my national pride.

A shattering of security

My sense of security has been shattered. All it took was one siren. I feel like a fraud, saying this and knowing (or really, not knowing) what people in the south have been living through. And no, I don’t feel like I am constantly under threat – we had one siren! And odds are so minute that anything would land anywhere near me! Please! And yet. My sense of security has been shattered.

Friday night I left shul to join my friends and make sure I had people to walk to dinner with; the idea of diving into buildings alone wasn’t all that appealing. When I came home, I left keys, shoes, and a sweatshirt by the front door so I could bolt out in case of a siren. I put on PJs that I’d feel comfortable running out in. I cursed myself for not leaving on the silent radio station that just plays sirens (“I’m in Jerusalem! What would I need this for?”). And then I felt overwhelmed by the fact that people have been living like this every day for weeks, months, and years.

Walking to shul in the morning, I kept my eyes peeled for the closest place to run to in case of a siren. I tried not to sit next to windows. I heard “phantom sirens” all day long. (Is that a siren? It’s the wind. Is that a siren? It’s a motorcycle. Is that a siren? It’s a… whatever, you name it. Anything can sound like a siren if you’re afraid of a rocket falling on your head.) 

I think I am not alone in saying that I almost feel glad that we had this one siren. That we were suddenly jarred into aligning ourselves with the residents of the south, with the feelings that they go through day in and day out. Thank God we did not have more rockets, and thank God it did not hit a residential area.