Friday, November 16, 2012


Life Blogging in Israel during War – Day 3

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

Ongoing Saga…

Day 1  --  Day 2  --  Day 3  --  Day 4 (Shabbos)  --  Day 5 (Work Week)

8:00 PM – Coming home I realize I have to prepare our family bomb shelter.  I’ve never paid much attention to the safety aspects, we use it as a spare room.  Seems the air vent protective covers are missing their large restraining bolts and the battery-backed up light has a dead bulb.  Running out to the hardware stores to prep.

8:30 PM – Most hardware stores are already closed?  I stop at one still open and ask for large bolts for the shelter air vents.  He looks at me and says “what are you worried about?”  I say “a (Chabad ultra-orthodox Jewish) family was brutally slaughtered this morning, we have to do our part to protect ourselves (the rest is up to G-d)”.  He nods and says “yeah, you’re right”.  But he doesn’t have the bolts.  I run over to a second hardware store, he doesn’t have them either.

2:00 AM – I’m obsessing, as if being more informed will make a difference.  I have Israeli radio on, listening to air raid alerts by area.  Nachal Oz, ALERT!  Be’er Sheva, ALERT!  Kfar Maimon, ALERT!  Ashdod, ALERT!  Several of my children wander out of their rooms.  An older daughter brings reports of minor (?) Arab terror attempts in Jerusalem (via the teen word of mouth network).  A younger daughter is just nervous, can’t sleep.  I try to calm her and send her to bed… wait a minute, what am I still doing up?  I send myself to bed.

9:00 AM – Daughter is watching streaming Israeli news and missile alert sounds on the program.  I hear it from another room, jump up to check if we need to run to the bomb shelter.  Thank G-d, it’s not real for us, but is 15 miles south.

9:45 AM – Temporary cease fire announced due to Egyptian presidential visit to Gaza.  15 minutes later missiles are flying again towards Israel.  I guess they interpreted it to mean “you cease, we fire”.  Translation problem?  Or just evil?

10:30 AM – Our town has a history of hosting other Israeli’s who are under threat.  Several charity organizations coordinate with the city administration to turn community centers into reasonably functional refugee compounds, as well as coordinating with many local families who have the space to host families.  This is NOT a government effort but a communal charity effort.  While they started the process, the people under threat aren’t interested in coming here.  The strike on Tel Aviv demonstrated that we’re also in missile range – and they don’t want to go somewhere that might still be at risk.  Our local community is actually disappointed to be unable to help in this way.

11:24 AM – Israeli Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter said: "We will not endanger the life of the Egyptian prime minister in any way."  THEY’RE FIRING OUTBOUND MISSILES TOWARDS ISRAELI CIVILIANS AROUND HIS HEAD and we’d be endangering his life (trying to stop them)?  Are we living in the time of Goebels? (Nazi, y”s, propaganda minister.)

12:00 PM – Wife returns from a grocery run to Jerusalem.  Feed a cold, starve a fever, stock up for a war.  The grocery store shelves are half empty, so I guess everyone has the same idea.  She reports the road through the West Bank is clear (no Arab protests or attacks) and there is a heavy army presence.

2:00 PM – Another set of missile attacks reported in the Tel Aviv area.  This is followed by a rush of alert reports from many towns and cities.  Kvutaz Yavne (farming town and pickle factory), ALERT!  Ashkelon, ALERT!  Ashdod, ALERT!  Be’er Sheva, ALERT!  Nachal Sorek, ALERT!  That’s 5 km away!!!

2:15 PM – In some less negative news, my wife pulled out this MONSTER ZUCCHINI she picked up at the store for Shabbat.  Had to argue with the checkout clerk over whether it was really a zucchini…


…now that’s a zucchini!  And here’s the sunset in our area from 2 days ago.  Not quit a pillar of clouds, but a cloud that’s kind of like a pillar…


2:30 PM – For Shomer Shabbos (Sabbath keepers) in Israel, the emergency services has announced a number of special “silent” radio stations.  No transmissions except for emergency announcements or air raid alerts.  The stations are 92.8 FM, 93.0 FM, 101.5 FM, and 531 AM.  Silent transmission starts today at 3:00 PM and continues until 6:00 PM Saturday night.

2:50 PM – My littlest ran in breathless and said “IS THERE A LAUNCH???”  I freaked out a bit, is there an air raid siren and I’m not hearing it?  Seems she said “is there lunch”.  Whew.  I think I’m obsessing.

Day 1 -- Day 2 -- Day 3 -- Day 4 (Shabbos) -- Day 5 (Work Week)


  1. May Hashem keep all of you safe!

  2. I wish to let you know that you are in our prayers. I would like to share your blog, but refrain from doing so unless you allow me to, as I think many are supportive and praying and your postings make a connection with your family your lives, etc.

    Please let me know, as I will respect your wishes.

    Oh and your zucchini? We had a few like that-they surprise us in our garden as they grow so fast! Enjoy

    Shabbat Shalom!

    New Mexico, USA

  3. Your blog is truly brilliant -I've been following for ages, but in the recent events, my thoughts and heart are with you all the more. Thank you so much for reaching out - we too are reaching in.

  4. Jennifer,

    The blog posts are free to share or repost via any method (print and share, tweet, facebook, posted or excerpted on another blog or web site) with attribution (mention where it came from) as long as it's for non-commercial purposes (if you're going to make money off it, we'd appreciate you sharing some with us) and a link back to our blog (

    Meaning, feel free to share it as you wish - just make sure to mention the source.


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