Tuesday, November 12, 2019

It's morning in Jerusalem

We split our time between Jerusalem and Sacramento, California. I happened to have been corresponding with some folks back in Sacramento. I decided to add a report on our morning here in Israel. With some minor modifications, here it is: 

In the meantime, I thought you might all want a first-hand account of what has happened here this morning.  As you probably know, early this morning Israel killed a senior Islamic Jihad member responsible for many terrorist activities and reportedly planning some imminent ones.  In response, as of an hour ago (around 9:30 a.m.) Israel has been hit with about 50 rockets targeting civilian areas. 

Tzeva adoms (Red alerts--piercing sirens) have gone off everywhere from Gaza up to Tel Aviv.  All schools and workplaces from Gaza to Tel Aviv were shut down this morning.  (A few minutes ago authorities said that workplaces could open if there was a shelter close by and people knew how to get to it.) 

We have been in close contact with our daughter.  She lives in the center of Tel Aviv in an old building with no shelter.  Her wake-up call this morning was a Tzeva Adom going off around 8:00 a.m.  I helped her determine where the closest shelter was located and whether she would have the time to get to it when more alarms went off.  She has also been in touch with the food tour operator she works with.  They are discussing how to handle the situation.  (Some of the tour groups and people signed up for tours want to continue with the tours!) 

About 10 minutes ago a Tzeva Adom went off in Modi’in, a suburban community mid-way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, about 25 minutes from where we are in Jerusalem.  This led Dana (my wife) and I to discuss the real possibility of rockets targeted at Jerusalem, which last happened during the 2014 war.  We live on the top (third) floor of a 1950’s building in Jerusalem.  Saying it is a not a model of solid construction is an understatement.  No shelter.  No safe room.  We know where the neighborhood shelter is but we think we would not be able to get there in time. 

The general instructions in this kind of situation are to go into the stairwell because it is the most distance from outside walls and windows.  However, as I pointed out to Dana in 2014 my feeling, based on being a contractor’s son, is that the staircase would collapse if you breathed hard on it.  So I think the most reasonable approach is to have a drink and pray.

One of the broadcasters interviewed a resident of the South. To paraphrase him:  "We get this all the time. We've had over a 1,000 rockets targeting us. You are now paying attention because it is hitting the Tel Aviv area."

At the same time my wife e-mailed a friend in one of the communities in the South, asking how she and her family and community were doing.  Her response:  "We are o.k.  It seems we are not alone this time."

I hope the entire spectrum of the American Jewish community will express its strong solidarity with Israelis at this time. 

(Originally published in The Times of Israel)


  1. Well, i guess its as good a day as any to arrive. Just taking off from Munich, now.

  2. Our 3 kids are all under the sirens today … includes our 6 grandchildren.

    Welcome to the Middle East. Keep your seatbelts fastened – there may be bouts of turbulence ….

  3. Thanks for this update. Of course I wish you and Dana a safe passage through this difficult time. And hope that the Israeli authorities choose the wisest response in this difficult situation. As an American living very far from danger, I offer no advice or even opinion on what that response should be.

    We once rented your apartment for a brief stay in Israel, so I know quite well that it cannot withstand a rocket attack. May you and Dana survive this difficult period free from physical and psychological injury.

  4. . If prayers help, I’ve double-labeled my concern and hopes as prayers to who it may concern. At times like this, the Italians say, "Siamo vicini a voi.” Or, “we are close to you.”

  5. First of all Alan,you are amazing and what a phenomenal writer you are. I just wish it was better news that you were reporting on. Now you have us worried and rightfully so. Please let us know how everything is going. This is just such an unfair ugly situation that Israel should never have to go through.

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Dana and the people of Israel. I hope the Arab world will ccme one day to its sense and come to appreciate peace with the Jewish world.

  7. Thanks for the update. Yes I saw the news. Wishing you all to be safe as well as all of Israel and that this will pass.

  8. We appreciate the update. This is certainly a difficult time and we can only hope that you and the rest of our brethren in Israel remain safe. Let’s hope that this latest skirmish is short lived.

  9. I doubt that the entire Jewish Community would issue their strong support of Israel, certainly not before condemning Netanyahu or the "settlements". I don't think you will hear anything from Bernie Sanders, for sure. It makes me so angry that so many American Jews do not see what is happening here. You can love some one (like our children) but not agree to everything you do. But nonetheless, the love is still not debatable. So frustrating!