Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Living in a Country at War - Away from the Rockets

Greg Tepper

I've lived here long enough and seen enough news to know what happens when there's a terror attack. The names of all those murdered are listed on the TV. Families and friends talk about them and funerals are shown. It gets you down. But the next day you go back to work, back to school.

This is the first time I've lived in a country at war in the traditional sense, while this is by no means a traditional war. I hear that 20-some soldiers have been killed. This many civilians have been killed. But that's not where my attention is. It's with the war. It's with the living in Haifa, Safed, Kiryat Shmona and all other places in the north. People are under attacks by terrorists down South as well, where rockets are continuing to fall from Gaza. But no one is there to report it (save for Dana Lewis), so they don't make sounds.

I'm wondering what it will be like afterwards. How will we mourn those who have been killed? How will those who have been living underground for weeks, and will for weeks, suddenly go back to normal.

I don't know how. We just do it. I did it in Jerusalem while people were blowing themselves up for years. I lost count of the number of them I heard. Too many friends were injured. But we did it. We got up and did what we had to do the next day. We also started going out again. Having fun again.

But, like I said, this is different. I don't know what to expect. I do know this: today a plane of Jews from France landed in Israel, making aliyah, becoming citizens. The kissed the ground without trepidation and smiled and sang.

We Jews, we people chased for millennia, can not stop smiling. This I have learned thus far while living in a country at war. I've heard the bombs. Now they're hearing and feeling the bombs. At one point or another, all Jews feel the bombs. But we smile and kiss the ground and dance and sing when we get home.

There's nothing better than living at home, with your family - no matter how bad the war gets. It's our war. We'll fight it. And we'll smile and dance and sing.


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