A Shabbos night meal in Israel under fire
I found the following letter so realistically descriptive of civilian life in Israel under fire that I couldn’t resist publishing it on my blog. Aviation lawyer, Charles Abelsohn is a Truth be Told (TbT) stalwart and founder member
A Friday night meal in Israel
By Charles Abelsohn
Last Friday night, I returned from synagogue in Israel, sat down for the main meal of the week, our Shabbat meal, made Kiddush, the blessing over wine, Hamotzi, the blessing over the bread and enjoyed the soup. Sounds familiar? This scene was happening throughout the Jewish world.
Nothing out of the ordinary occurring so far. What happened next is unusual, except perhaps if you live in Israel. We live in Kfar Sava, about 80 kilometres from northern Gaza (Israel is a small country).
As my wife, Vivienne, prepared to serve the main course, the rocket warning siren went off. Our apartment, built after the Iraqi war of 1991 and the Scud attacks (it is never boring in these parts of the globe) has a bomb shelter. We had 45 seconds to get there.
Who was with us? Vivienne`s 90-year-old mother, with a walker, had to be uprooted from her seat at the table and slowly accompanied to the shelter. Our daughter, Shiri`s, son is 15 months and was sleeping in an upstairs apartment. His father raced up the steps – he had to be fetched and taken to the bomb shelter. Even Shiri`s dog needed to be dragged to the bomb shelter.
Somehow we made it and moments after we closed the steel door and window, the rocket exploded with a deafening roar quite close by, probably intercepted by the Iron Dome defence battery. We needed to remain in the bomb shelter for about 10 minutes in case shrapnel fell from the rocket.
There have been several rocket warnings in Kfar Sava but this was the first during a Shabbat meal. Luckily there were no casualties or damage to buildings. Unfortunately our delicious main course had to be eaten cold.
When in your part of the world you read or see on TV that a rocket has been launched, please be aware that people in Israel are interrupting their daily routine and running for shelters. This has happened on average 140 times daily in different parts of central and southern Israel since July 8, 2014.
Please give a thought to the folks in the south of Israel, about one million with about 250 000 children, who have lived under these conditions, with several rockets a day, for nine years.
These folks, the elderly with their walkers, the handicapped with their wheelchairs, the infants in their prams, all have 15 seconds to get to their bomb shelter. Frankly, enough is enough.