Sunday, August 21, 2011

So What Do You Do?

I told you, I'm flying out tomorrow night, iy'h, and now I have a problem. We like to go to the kotel anytime we leave or re-enter Israel. I don't know where we got this family "minhag"(custom) or even if it may be a real inyan, but it's something that we do.

BAW and I had discussed taking the kids in to Jlem tomorrow to make a stop at the kotel, maybe ride the new light rail, grab something to eat and head home. A kind of "good-bye Imma and B" event. 

But now I'm not so sure. Yerushalayim is on high terror alert. Rockets are still falling in the Southern regions of the country regardless of the ceasefire Hamas had agreed to not an hour ago. Supposedly there was a terrorist apprehended in Pisgat Ze'ev in Jerusalem earlier today, although this has not been confirmed. 

Do we lay low until things "calm down"? Will things calm down? Do we have full faith that on a mission to pray at the Wall we'll be safe and protected?  Do we give in to terrorism? Do we let fear overtake us and not go where we want when we want? 

I dunno. What would you do?


Feeling totally underwater today. Spacey, tired, out of it. It's stress and nothing else. I am flying out tomorrow and have literally spent all day doing laundry (again!), dishes (again!), straightening up (again, and again!), packing and checking various news websites. The packing is the easiest of all. Since America is the land of the free and the home of the Target, Walmart and Old Navy, I am mostly coming with empty suitcases. 

I am a news junkie in general, but when things start to escalate as they have the past few days here, I am unable to turn away from the computer for any long periods of time. I feel like I need to know what's going on all the time. It probably isn't the best thing for me; it makes me sad, angry, and so distracted that I have a hard time taking care of things, and today of all days is one of those days that I needed to be on the ball. Hence the underwater zombie-like feeling. I feel like this post isn't even making any sense. Forgive me. 

What's going on in the South of Israel is scary, but it's also very, very disheartening. The Muqata (don't worry, he's a frum Jew) has a blow by blow of what's been going on almost down to the minute.

The reports say that over 100 missiles have been fired from Gaza into Southern Israel over the past 3 days, thankfully with few (but some) casualties. There are other coordinated terror attacks going on throughout the rest of the country as we speak. In the past half hour Jerusalem has been put on a special terror alert. The attack near Eilat has just claimed it's 8th victim. Others have been seriously wounded by shrapnel, including a 4 month old baby and other children. 

Over shabbos there was also more dismantling of Jewish settlements. 

And then I turn away from the Israeli news and I see this: Spain has decided to back the PA right to their own country.,7340,L-4111821,00.html

What's their reasoning? 

"We have to give them some signal, because if we don't it could generate great frustration for the Palestinian people."

Oh man. We wouldn't want to cause frustration to the Palestinian "people" now, would we? We all know what THAT means. And you, Mrs. Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Trinidad Jimenez have just been bullied. Terrorized is what we call it.  

I constantly promise not to become political in my blog and I often find myself inching my way there, and I apologize. But it comes with the territory of living here, whether or not we like it, we are forced to see just how our government is failing us. It's a constant reminder that even though we are lucky to be living in E"Y, we are still a long way off from the geula and the perfect state of Am Yisrael. 

Let's keep praying that it's on it's way.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Once again we are mourning. Today a very carefully executed attack against more Israelis took place, when Arabs shot up a bus, bombed a car and shot mortars at IDF forces in the South.,7340,L-4110634,00.html#.Tk0vyxAwd_B.facebook

And just like that while we were washing dishes or doing laundry or at work or shopping, everything was once again turned upside down. I had my 2 year old scream through another supper and couldn't even register it because all I can think about is the families who have suddenly been thrown into a living hell and who's lives will never be the same.

And yet, the feelings loss and sadness are followed swiftly by overwhelming feelings of rage, which must be a true testament to the fact that I am becoming more Israeli every day. Rage that once again our government has failed to protect us. Once again they have lacked the masculine body parts it takes to stand up and say, "די!!" "Enough!"

No, I don't expect them to put up more check points or increase soldiers on foot or patrol. I expect them to stop caring about what the rest of the world thinks and to put their collective foot down for once. I expect them to protect their civilians who give their lives and their sons' and daughters' lives year after year while the government continues to tiptoe around public opinion.

I'm not very wise in the way of politics and I don't really have any solutions to suggest. Actually I do. Just one: Man up Israel. Man up.

First trip back

I've been scrambling the past few days to get everything in order for my first trip back to the Old Country since we made Aliyah over a year ago. Renewing passports, finding something to wear and choosing one child to come with me has been surprisingly time consuming. I guess it's because it's not only that but the preparation at home that it takes to make sure that TPH can run the homestead as calmly as possible while I'm gone. 

I'm not the "make-a-dinner-for-each-night-and-freeze-it-in-nice-little-containers" type, but to be fair I did stock the fridge and cabinets with just about anything anyone will need over the week that I'm gone. 

Going on this trip is a surprise. I told my family I'm coming when I got the tickets this week, but what I mean is that it's more of a surprise for me. 

Unless you've made Aliyah it's really, really hard to understand why that first trip back is so hard. I told my family earlier this summer that there was no way I could come. N is impossible at home these days, and I could never leave him. Tickets are ridiculously expensive, so I probably couldn't bring him, and even if I could there was so much potential for disaster that I just threw my hands in the air and said, "Forget it. I can't come."

I see now that these were excuses. Valid perhaps, but excuses none the less. But as always, TPH saw through my excuses even before I did. It's one of those things that make him T. P. H. And gently, as only he knows how, he insisted that I go. He would find the money to send me. He would be fine with everyone at home for a week. Yes, even N. He gently encouraged me to find the strength to get past whatever it was that is holding me back, and to go and spend some much needed time with my family.

I went to Gymboree with a friend a couple weeks ago and we were talking about going back "home", and she said she just doesn't think she'd be emotionally ready to face everyone and everything yet. I am so thankful to her for having this conversation with me because I was worried that maybe I was the only one who was feeling this way. It helps to know there are other normal people out there like me and that I am not alone.

The problem is that I'm scared to go back. I'm scared to see who and what I left behind again. I'm scared I'll want to leave or that I'll never want to leave. I'm scared to see my house again with lush yards and trees and I'm scared I'll compare it to my current rented apartment with dirt for a yard. I'm scared that everyone has stayed the same and that I have changed. Or maybe that they have changed and I have very much stayed the same. 

I'm sure it'll pass and that IY"H the trip will go just fine. I am very, very excited to be able to make it to my brother's wedding and will be forever grateful for a husband who knows me better than I sometimes know myself. TPH, thank you for being just that. Perfect. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Huh? Wha?

I know I sound like I've been a bit obsessed with getting old lately, but here's yet another proof: All day I've been wandering around thinking of ten different things I've been wanting to write about. All day I've been staring longingly at my laptop as it broadcasts hours and hours of Diego, all the while winking at me mockingly, just out of reach.  

And now, finally it's quiet, laptop is in hand (or on lap rather) and I can't remember a DARN thing I wanted to write about! Aargh Blargh!! as we say here in W-land.

I guess one thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is how sometimes I feel like I am an excellent mother; I have it all together, I know my kids well and can reach each of them on their own level in ways to help them grow as people, as Jews and as mentchen. Sometimes

The other 97% of the time I have started to feel totally clueless. As in, I have NO stinking IDEA what I'm doing.  Sometimes I'll post an exasperated post on FB partially to kvetch, partially to get advice, but mostly to just get some much needed sympathy.

Today's post of "Once again feeling like I need parenting lessons" had a bunch of great mothers contributing. Some very seriously, some lending a much needed laugh, but all in it together. That's exactly what I love about FaceBook. (It's networking...socially...ah! I get it!)

And together we reached a very clear understanding: this is really how it's supposed to be. As soon as we feel too much in control or want to give ourselves a big pat on the back (and we should!), we get small loving reminders that yes, we are doing a fantastic job, but we still need the Big Guy's help, and we shouldn't ever stop looking or asking for it. 

So thanks to my FB friends for making me laugh and helping me realize that I'm not incompetent or crazy, or G-d forbid old. Well, maybe a little. Now seriously, what was it I was supposed to be writing about anyway?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Car! A Car! A C-A-R!

My 9 days blogging hiatus is officially over, whew. I'm not sure if I'm more excited to write again or to catch up on all my reading from other bloggers I've missed.

First off I have to say how tremendously grateful I am to The One Above as well as my FIL for ensuring that we had a car almost the whole summer. My in-laws are in the states and my FIL graciously left us the car to use while they are gone. It's been more than a month, and we have used the car to the fullest. 

Granted we've often had to split up (as it's only a five seater), but we've done that great trip to the Canine Unit, the boys went to Park Afula near Be'er Sheva, several library trips, playgrounds, the Mall in Modiin, the movies, the beach, hikes, Yaledudes (water slides), Yerushalayim lots of times, the Kotel, David's Citadel museum, a hike that landed them at Kever Shimshon, the pool at Misilat Tzion, Park Canada, and there is still one more Ulpan trip planned, not to mention the hike to the "Bat Cave" that some of them will do tomorrow. 

And the grocery shopping! Oh, the grocery shopping! There are decent local stores here, but with a car there are so many more options at such better prices. Who would've thought I'd be sitting here extolling the virtues of a car? If nothing else the past year has taught me to be extremely grateful for the small stuff.

I have to say I am beat, I'm sunburned, and I am exhausted beyond belief. I collapse into bed every night like one of the bunch. I'm so happy to have been able to cram it all in and give the kids a sense of fun as well as deepen their appreciation for E"Y even more over the summer. If I've accomplished nothing else, this alone has made it all worth it.