'Their God changes the path of our rockets in mid-air,' said a terrorist
By Barbara Ordman
A Mancunian who lives in Ma’ale Adumim on the West Bank
IN October, 1956, David Ben Gurion was interviewed by CBS. He stated: “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.”
But the Talmud Yerushalmi tells us that in no way are we to depend on miracles.
It argues that we must not desist from our obligations and must not wait for miraculous intervention from the Supernatural.
How perfectly relevant are both of these views today. We witness hourly miracles.
As one of the terrorists from Gaza was reported to say when asked why they couldn’t aim their rockets more effectively: “We do aim them, but their God changes their path in mid-air.”
Amen! And when our God is not busy doing that, He is ensuring that the high-tech brain power of our “start-up nation” is working overtime to produce yet another Iron Dome battery to help protect our cities and us.
So how are we all coping? Pretty well.
Are we complacent in the light of all this protection?
No, I don’t think so. I didn’t hear the siren when it went off while I was shopping in the local mall.
I couldn’t understand why the shop assistant was throwing me out of the shop and closing the doors.
I presumed it was an early closing day!
Then I saw all the other shoppers moving quickly towards an enclosed space. Got it! So I went along too.
No panic. We all stood in the safety room for a few minutes, busy texting because the phone signals don’t penetrate the thick walls.
Then, after we felt we’d been there long enough, we came out — and went on shopping.
The next siren I did hear. Last Shabbat, we had two of our grandchildren to stay and in the late afternoon we heard its wail.
The kids had already asked us where they should go just in case. It appears the schools and the kids’ parents had prepared them well.
So we went into the shelter that was, by law, built inside our house when we constructed our home 30 years ago.
They did a quick detour to pick up the chocolate that I’d promised them they could have in case of this eventuality.
A minute later, we heard a polite but firm knock on the front door. It was a group of my friends out for their Shabbat afternoon walk.
Could they come in and share the shelter? All five of them plus a big dog!
Well, my shelter is stacked with all my Pesach pots and pans, the deckchairs, the spare baby stroller, boxes of assorted paper goods and the succah decorations.
“Well, by all means come into the house,” I said. “But unless we all want to die of suffocation, I think we’d best just wait in the hall away from the windows.”
They hung around for long enough to catch up on all the gossip, then went on their way and the kids emerged with chocolate smeared all over their faces.
The last time was with another grandchild. It was his end-of-year school party and we were invited for our qvelling role.
It was held in the courtyard of the school and the teacher started the proceedings by telling us where to go in the event of . . .
So our little darlings stood up and started their recitals (our darling was the most beautiful, and talented, not that we are biased, of course!).
Sure enough, half-way through, the siren sounded. Being outside, there was no problem hearing it at all.
In fact it’s ear-splitting. My son has five children, ranging from two to 11. There were at least 50-60 kids plus their parents, grandparents and various aged siblings.
Without panic but very quickly, we moved towards the building and into the one door.
On the way we got separated. Who had the five-year-old? My son had the two-year-old and two of the older ones. The oldest boy we presumed was with his friends.
We couldn’t make contact with each other because of the thick walls and although we presumed that the little one must be with his mother, we couldn’t be 100 per cent sure.
The place was too crowded to push our way through. So I just smiled a reassuring smile at my son — and prayed. Sure enough, all was well, but the adrenalin and blood pressure had surely dangerously spiked.
The recital went on as if nothing had happened and more chocolate was consumed!
I teach yoga so I begin my classes with relaxation. We shake our limbs and breathe out fear and tension. I make sure all the exercises are expansive ones and change my routine to fit the need.
Everyone comes up at the end of class to say how much they needed it. But the class isn’t as full as usual. Not everyone is comfortable leaving their houses.
My car is at the garage so I take the bus home. I phone a friend.
“I need some outdoor exercise,” I tell her. “Would you like to meet me at the bus stop and we’ll walk together?”
She hesitates. “Not today, I think I’d prefer to stay at home.”
So I walk by myself. I’m not really nervous, but I make a mental note of where the communal shelters are and at whose front door I could knock. JewishTelegraph