Since we left Israel, things have really heated up. By now I’m sure all of my readers read about the kidnapped and murdered Israeli boys and the revenge that was so horrific I don’t even want to type the words and see them on my screen and think about the mental image.
Hamas shot rockets at Tel Aviv, and what is even more worrying, further north, all the way to Hadera and Zichron Yaakov, in the southern foothills of the Carmel mountain range. I say “more worrying” not only because they fell relatively close to Haifa but because this is an unprecedented reach from Gaza. The rocket fire is still going on.
Am I glad to be back in America during this crisis? Yes and no. Yes because I can feel relieved that I don’t have to worry about hearing the siren at any time and having to run to a shelter. In Haifa you get a minute warning. In Tel Aviv you get a minute and a half. If the rockets are coming from Gaza rather than Lebanon or Syria, I guess you would get a minute and 45 seconds warning in Haifa rather than a minute. Yay. Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepts many of the rockets before they fall, but it doesn’t catch all of them.
At the same time I’m not glad to be back in America. Sometimes you hear worse news when you’re following it from afar because you hear the worst news from the whole country, rather than feeling the atmosphere in one single place. (That might not be a bad thing because you can easily have a false sense of security if you’re not paying attention and locally it’s quiet. Would I even be blogging about this if I were still in Haifa? Maybe only to reassure people that we’re okay. I didn’t blog about the crisis with Syria and the threat of gas attacks.) I can judge the mood in Haifa a bit by the emails that go out to the neighborhood list that I’m still subscribed to. A major event was canceled right after they found the kidnapped boys’ bodies. Other than that, chatter is going on as normal. No rockets have hit Haifa. I’m not sure the sirens have even gone off.
Still, judging by the way the situation is still escalating, I’m worried that the rocket attacks could lead to worse, and so I end with a prayer for the sons and daughters to whom we said, “May your army service pass in peace.”