Sunday, July 23, 2006

Suicide Bomber in Tel Aviv

I was anxious all Shabbos. Even the adorable antics of my 16 month old niece didn't really keep my mind from straying to thoughts of Israel. It should be no surprise that the war is on all of our minds. My brother-in-law said a special prayer for the safety of the Zahal and Israel right before Kiddush on Friday night, and the conversation at the dinner table consisted mainly of war strategy, US involvement and the fear of casualties of both Israeli soldiers and citizens. It was bittersweet when my sister brought out dessert. Wanting to make my last Shabbos here in Baltimore special, she baked a huge chocolate chip cake and decorated it with a blue icing Israeli flag (I'll upload a photo of the cake when I get back to Manhattan). It was unfortunate that her efforts didn't elicit the response that it would have gotten a few weeks ago. I am still really excited about my move but, at the same time, admittedly a little nervous. I appreciated that she went to the trouble to do something special for me, and the mood lightened a bit as we poured another round of godiva liquor to go with the dessert.

Meanwhile, right before Shabbat, I read online that the police in Tel Aviv apprehended a female suicide bomber on her way to complete her "mission". That was all the information I was able to glean before we had to light candles. Now that Shabbos is over, and I was able to hit all my websites for the updates I so desperately needed all Shabbos, I learned that the female suicide bomber was captured around the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv. Two blocks from my apartment. The apartment I will be moving into in less than 3 weeks.


When I found the apartment I was so excited. It was almost too good to be true. The price was in my budget, and the location was right off of the beach and in an area that is always bustling and teeming with Israelis, tourists, youngster and people just looking to have fun. A friend called the area Israel's version of the new Lower East Side. As someone who used to live on the Lower East Side, and loves to hang out there during the week (the best live music venues by far), I felt like the neighborhood was a perfect fit for me.

And I still do. My attitude has been, and will forever be, as follows: If it's my time, it's my time and it doesn't matter where I will be or what I'll be doing.

I owe this attitude to my parents and Grandparents. My Grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, has never been afraid of anything in her entire life. When I was younger, and afraid of the dark, she told me that the only person I should ever fear is G-d. Nothing else in life matters. I stopped being afraid of the dark after we had that conversation and, to this day, absolutely love the world at night. After September 11th, when the national and local media started reporting that another attack in Manhattan was "immenent" and I started to fear taking the train to work, it was my Father who gave me the pep talk. He said in the event that something happens while I'm on the subway, I should just close my eyes, say the perek of Tehilim that I know by heart, and have faith that everything will work out okay. It really reassured me and I continued taking the New York City subways without fear.

But I realized something. I realized that I must not deprive myself of enjoying my life! I will not lock myself into my apartment until the war is over. I will not avoid exploring all the nooks and crannies hidden in the cobblestone streets of Israel. I will not be scared into a life of fear. I will do what I had intended on doing in Tel Aviv before the war broke out. I will walk the streets of Tel Aviv, shop in her malls, take boxing classes at her gyms, get my hair cut at the salons, seek out the indie music scene in her bars and concert halls, take in a movie in her theaters, buy fruits and vegetables in her farmer's markets, daven in her shuls, date the men living and thriving in Israel, take long walks on her beaches, and write the book I am moving to Israel to write.

I have three weeks to make sure that my heart and my mind are insync with my attitude. In the meantime, I'm just not going to tell my Mom where they apprehended the female suicide bomber.

Anyone in Israel weathering through this storm and reading my blog, please be safe! I look forward to joining the ranks soon!

1 comment:

tafka PP said...

That's the spirit, dear. Enjoy your last few weeks stateside.