I Know Just How He Feels

As planned, the siren went off today at 10:00 am. I was in the middle of cleaning out a kitchen cupboard for Pesach, and I heard two things simultaneously. First, the siren went off – but it was different than the siren that we hear on Yom HaShoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day) and on Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Terrorist Victims). This time the wail went up and down.

At the same time that I heard the siren, I heard our dog in the yard. He added his doggy wail for accompaniment – and I was almost tempted to join in!

I have to say it was both scary and sad. I couldn’t help thinking that I was glad that my parents weren’t alive to hear it (as horrible as that sounds). They were both born in a generation that remembered what it was like before the creation of the State of Israel – and they knew that although there have been many wars, Israel always came out on top in the end. My father spent the last 15 years living with my brother in Maaleh Adumim – so he was spared some of the details of the security arrangements that are necessary in a yishuv. (I never told him that we have an M16 in the house, and that both westbankpapa and I both know how to use it. I also never told him how many people I know personally who have lost relatives to terrorist attacks.)

Jameel at the Muqata is fond of using the phrase “Live the dream” when referring to making aliyah – and it is apt.

Those of us who live here experience both the happiness and contentment of fulfilling a lifelong dream – with the gritty reality as part of the package. Today’s siren was one of those realities.

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