Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to Normal

All over Israel, things are settling back to normal. I've spent much of the last 50 days writing about the military aspects of the conflict and how they impacted on daily life around Israel.

What we didn't have was summer - oh, it was hot and dry as usual. Things were slow and people did take vacation but everywhere there was something missing - not a sense of peace, because we've never had that. But there was this unsettled feeling. If we were having fun, we felt bad because those in the south were sitting in bomb shelters and running to safety. How could we having fun?

And if weren't having fun, we felt the summer slipping away and time running down. We usually go camping - we didn't. We try to take a day here or there; we really didn't.

Aliza started school today. Yesterday, I drove Davidi to his new Hesder yeshiva program. Shmulik is settling into his beautiful new apartment; Elie and Lauren are still unpacking their boxes. Amira bought her son a pool and he's been enjoying the water for a while now. Aliza took pictures of Amira's son and Elie's daughter yesterday - I wish I had permission to post the pictures - they are so so sweet.

Rosh Hashana isn't far away - one month...the summer flew by with so much sadness that each drop of happiness is celebrated. Today was a good day - a friend had a granddaughter born; another friend announced her son just got engaged. Two friends have children getting married in the next few weeks; another friend's son got married last night.

It's a subtle message that life goes on.

And if the world isn't insane enough - for the last two days, Syrian rebels and government forces have been fighting very close to the Israeli border and someone has fired mortars and shot into Israel. An Israeli officer was moderately wounded, but is doing well.

The UN has a "peacekeeping" force on the Syrian-Israeli border. I have to tell you, the UN doesn't have much luck (or courage). In 1967, the UN forces were ordered by Egypt's Nasser to retreat and without hesitation, they did.

Again and again, each time tensions rose on the borders, the first to run was always the UN and once again today, the UN peacekeeping forces decided keeping the peace was too dangerous and so they ran into Israel, away from the Syrian violence.

So, our children are back in school; the UN is on the run; Syria is threatening; Gaza and Lebanon aren't so far behind - in short, things are back to normal.

On a personal note, once again it has been proven that the fastest way to get your stats go crazy is to be involved in a war. I spoke to journalists from several countries - Brazil, England, Sweden and the US; my blog was again quoted in The Guardian.

And as the number of visitors grew each day into the thousands, I waited for things to go back to normal, when the rockets stopped, the reservists sent home, and the curious who came to read my blog would get bored. It's happened several times in the past - and amazingly enough, contrary to most bloggers, I am more at peace with my regular group would leave and I and my long-term friends would be back to the familiar.

There are sites that get tens of thousands of visitors a day...I'm so happy to have those who come to share, to comment, to read. Thousands of visitors a day for me means life is not normal, that my country is going through the worst of times.

So, to those who came for a while and now will look elsewhere, thanks for visiting and I hope that maybe I provided some insight into what it was like here in Israel over these last 50+ days.

And to the rest of you - thank you for being here, for commenting, for reading. I have felt your support across oceans and seas, in Israel and from all over.

Israel's army is slowly returning to its normal level of alert, grateful that as bad as it was, it wasn't worse. Sometimes that's all we can hope for.

And as Thursday ends and Friday comes, here in Israel, we get ready to do what we do each week - cook and clean and prepare...shabbat shalom.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shabat Shalom! Thank you for your talented and insightful writing.
Anna

sheldan said...

Paula,

This is one visitor who is staying. I appreciate your blog entries and I thank you for all the work that has to go into everything you do.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. We've never met, yet through your writing I've learnt so much about Israel, about the way Israelis see the world, about the Jewish people and what it means to live in the Holy Land.

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