Thursday, July 31, 2014

Longing for the Silly, Normal, Summer Things

They glory of Facebook is that it connects you to other parts of the world so you can catch a glimpse of what they are doing. The problem is that what they are doing is so very different from my life here in Israel right now. I want to be writing about the silly normal things.

Like both Elie and Shmulik are moving apartments this summer. It has caused unbelievable stress and I've basically found myself in the middle of everything and everyone's issues. To make room for some of the changes here, in between everything else, I've been going through some boxes.

I found a beautiful dress for a baby that Aliza had once worn, long ago. I showed it to her - she's taller than I am, graceful and so young. At 14, the world is so confined around her world. She is normal - a normal 14 year old despite having lived through wars, despite seeing her brothers serve, despite the threat of sirens and news, almost daily, of casualties.

She started complaining about the dress. She doesn't like the collar and the flower. Of a dress she wore as a baby...

She is babysitting for her nephew today - she plans to play with him in the new little pool that his mother bought him...

Davidi went out the other night with his friends. He has been helping Elie pack and move his things...all normal.

I crave normal.

I have the computer open when I am at home and when I am at Elie's apartment helping him pack. In a normal world, people use the computer to play music. I keep it open to hear the sirens indicating incoming missiles. We have, at any time, three different ways to be informed - Elie's phone, my phone....

how perfectly timed...Color Red missile warning now in Otef Aza area

and another....same location

so Elie's phone, my phone, and the computer - four if you count the actual air raid siren itself to indicate an attack on Jerusalem and/or Maale Adumim.

The first thing I do in the morning, the last thing I do at night - is check the Internet...we lost three more soldiers yesterday. Each is a whole world. This is a Jewish concept. We have lost 56 can I explain this to people outside Israel.

We don't barbecue and have sales and look forward to a long Memorial Day weekend...we dread the day, our places of entertainment are closed. We mourn to the depths of our souls...and now, every day is memorial day - every day we worry and fear and mourn.

But if that sounds despondent, then you still don't understand us - we are so proud of our soldiers, so proud of our army. Someone asked me on a scale of 1 to 10, how sure am I that Israel is 100% right in this war.

I told him 9 and he asked me to explain the one. I told him I only said 9 because if I said 10, you'd accuse me of being brainwashed, blind, and uninformed.

But I have seen pictures of the tunnels, I have seen the secondary explosions that indicate arsenals of explosives and weapons are being stored in buildings they call mosques, hospitals and homes. Years ago I said it and I'll say it again, a hospital is not an arsenal...and an arsenal is not a hospital. A school, even a United Nations sponsored one, is not a school if it is an arsenal. THREE of their schools have been confirmed to be arsenals.

The anger chokes; the pain and worry bring tears so easily today. And if I am to be honest, I resent those who post on Facebook about the wonderful, carefree days of summer without giving one stinking post, one word to my country, to the families of 56 brave soldiers who stand, stood, and fell for all that the Jewish world is.

I sit in my kitchen, looking out over the Judean hills - the same hills that Jews looked at 2,000 years ago and 3,000 years ago. This is my home, my land and I'll continue to live here with more pride than most will ever feel, even if I crave normal sometimes in the depths of summer...


Anonymous said...

Your sons are the living proof of the phrase " son of a bitch "

Anonymous said...

Dear Paula, here I sit in Houston, supposedly having what you crave and deserve...a peaceful fun summer. Yet, even though no missles are raining down on us, no tunnels are being dug to kidnap us, I FEEL everything that is happening in Israel acutely. I mourn and ache for each of the 56 families that lost their precious gorgeous dimpled sons. Our own son volunteered to go back into the Spokesperson Unit, where he is doing his part to educate the media (not an easy task). My heart and soul are with you in Israel, I am checking the news constantly, and educating my friends and acquaintances. I am so sorry that the children in Israel cannot sleep peacefully, or enjoy their summer vacation. I want to scream at the injustice of it all. Your posts keep us all informed and grounded. God Bless the IDF, and all of Israel. A very very concerned mother in Houston. Jan

Brat said...

On a scale of 1 to 10? I say 10.....I believe and stand with you ALL....

Anonymous said...

I am in Australia. I am not Jewish. I am on your side in this war which is just one small part of the worldwide Jihad (that has been going on against everything not-Islam for 1400 years in all directions).

Our press, especially our official public broadcaster the ABC, are so biased against Israel it is INFURIATING. They swallow and retail Hamas' lies and UNRWA lies unquestioningly.

So every morning I check the Israeli english-language papers online, and your blog, and a number of other Israeli blogs, so I can find out what is *really* happening!
On Sunday - wearing a Star of David pendant and a blue and white scarf - I will be attending a pro-Israel rally in my hometown. It's the least I can do.

You are loved. You are prayed for. I pray for your IDF soldiers - most of whom are younger than my own eldest son who is 24 - fighting for Israel against the Jihad, they are fighting for civilisation, for freedom, for life itself, against Thanatos.

My deepest, deepest condolences to all the families and friends of those young, young IDF soldiers who have been killed in action.

Aussie Friend of Zion

Rickismom said...

So very true and well written.

I am surprised myself even at just how the inconveniences of this war, the interruption of daily life (and I live in an "only 1-2 sirens a day area" , with 60-90 seconds to reach shelter) is wearing me down. Although I suspect that the constant worry for all of our soldiers is what is REALLY taking the toll on me....

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