Passover Shabbat panic
Last Saturday was in the middle of the week of Passover, in which we celebrated that the Jewish nation had been born and replaced slavery to the Egypt’s with the worship of God. While sitting for the holiday & Sabbath feast, trying to balance the dry Matza with the tasty meal, we had heard the sound of siren and the flashing lights of security vehicles. First we had to hush the kids that did not want so stop mixing different songs from different events into one happy mess. Only then we understood the words coming out of the vehicle.
‘This is not a drill, please stay inside the houses, lock the doors and seal the windows’, shouting over and over while driving slowly down the road. Since this was the first time we had ever been in that kind of situation, we had a moment of panic, but quickly we shut all entrance and thanked for the first time that our dog make such noise that can be heard all around the neighborhood.
We knew that there is only one reason for such an alarm, reliving the horror of the Fogel family. First thing was to calm down the kid, and explaining that the chances of such a thing to happen is low. Telling them about the army patrolling outside and the other defense forces that don’t rest. I reminded them why we live in the heart of Israel, at Sumerian and quote the Haggadah we had read three nights ago that “For not only one enemy has risen against us; in every generation men rise against us to destroy us, but the Holy One saves us from their hand”.
But while sitting at the table, worrying that each flashing lights might be an ambulance rushing to the hospital, my main thought was how come we are the one that needs to live in fear. Why a Muslim can be wherever he want to be, all over Israel without worrying, while if I take the wrong turn in my Capital city, in Jerusalem, I might be slaughtered. How we had become used to the sick reality that the only place on earth there are restriction for Jews is in the land of Israel.
While visiting the nearby historical city of Shomron, I had spoken to one of the Muslims living there, and asked him about the ancient Mosque, knowing that it is the oldest church ever built that is still in use. He had pointed to the general direction, but added “but don’t go there” with a low tone. He did not need to explain what can happen to a single Jew at Muslim town. Later on I had spoken to few more, and the elderlies had asked be to send regards to my neighbors. They had known the Jewish settlement well, walking all around without fear.
Thanks goodness it had been a false alarm, providing the defense force an opportunity to display their quick respond to the threats around us. But I still carry the bad feeling of returning to the land of Israel after 2000 years, just to keep looking behind my back.
While sitting with my family around the table, hearing the defense forces outside, I had told them a old quote about the difference between adults and juveniles, that the ideals that a juveniles will be willing to die for, an adults will prefer to live for it a long life. Explaining the difference between religion that puts death in the center, sending people to explode and religion that believe in the sanctity of life. Telling then that although there is no need to worry, if we need to go, and we all need to one day, may it be for a good cause like reliving the promise we had spoken above, the promise that had brought us back to the same spot God had gave the promise to our ancestors 3500 years ago.