Friday, May 12, 2023

War--What is it good for?

War, with its death and destruction, is nothing to make light of.  But, as is usual, ours has its touching moments as well as some fairly strange ones.

I met a friend at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station in the early evening yesterday.  She was coming back from the south.  She has some challenging mobility issues so I went to meet her and to give her a ride home.

Jerusalem’s bus station, like many transportation hubs, is a microcosm of society.  On a Thursday afternoon/evening, it is a very busy, hectic place.

Folks on the bus had obviously been helpful to my friend, and they continued to offer help as she disembarked.  Israelis, not generally known for their patience, were patient and understanding.

I carried my friend’s bags to my car.  A young soldier took the larger suitcase from me and put it in the trunk.  His buddy stood by looking for something to be helpful with.

After I dropped my friend off at her home in a nearby suburban neighborhood, I headed back into town on the way to our apartment.  Beautiful evening.  Weather cooling down.  Windows open.

Bruce Springsteen and the E St. Band on the radio belting their emphatic rendition of “This Land is Your Land.”  (I’m not sure their version is how Woody Guthrie imagined it, but it is stirring.)  Great night for the convertible I don’t own.

Then, back to reality:  an interruption and the monotone voice of the automated warning system: “Alert.  Sderot. Take shelter.”  Or something approximating that. About three seconds. Then back to “this land was made. . . .”

We’ve had over 800 hundred missiles directed at us in the last 48 hours or so.  We were in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, out at a cafĂ© with a friend at about 2:00 p.m. when things started up.  And then it happened again when we were out to dinner with our daughter.

We could hear the “boom” of the Iron Dome and sirens going off.  I turned my “Red Alert” App on.  Except for the middle of the night, it’s been going off pretty steadily from then on.  The great majority have been in the south, but the Tel Aviv area has gotten its fair share.  Today they also targeted some communities close to Jerusalem.