web analytics
May 3, 2015 / 14 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


ENOUGH

Desperately Craving Normal

There are so many things that aren't normal about life here. Having a pile of gas masks in a corner of the room, for example, isn't normal.
This Jerusalem child picked up her gas mask last August. The size "small" is marked on its filter.

This Jerusalem child picked up her gas mask last August. The size "small" is marked on its filter.
Photo Credit: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90

Note: This article was written on Friday, December 7th, 2012.

Normal is that status where life just is. Normal is when you don’t hear sirens in your head, listen for ambulances, imagine the phone ringing. When your country is at war, when your son is a soldier, when you have friends and family living in areas where rockets are falling, you crave normal to a level that I doubt most normal people can understand.

Normal.

There are so many things that aren’t normal about life here. Having a pile of gas masks in a corner of the room isn’t normal. Buying 12 bottles of water to take to your son’s unit isn’t normal and when you end up not delivering them so they are in your house – normal would be to drink them. Not normal is to take six of them and put them in a room that has been specially built to withstand missiles and explosions.

No, having a bomb shelter in your home isn’t normal either.

Normal is a day like today – and they come so rarely here. The sun is shining. The sweet challah dough is rising on the counter. I made a blueberry pie and soon I’ll be making a spinach/broccoli casserole and a carrot casserole. That’s normal. The soup is boiling on the stove and the house is filled with the scent of that and the finished chicken cooling on the table.

Normal.

Tonight my daughter and her husband and baby will be staying over – Elie and Lauren will come over, along with Lauren’s cousin, who is a soldier. Technically, he’s a lone soldier because his parents live in the States, but he’s got Lauren, who is as close as any sister could be; he’s got an adopted family near Jerusalem, another nearer to the center of the company.

Davidi is home this weekend, though right now he’s taking a shift on the ambulance squad. Chanukah is coming Saturday night – we’ll light the first candle.

I’ll make the potato pancakes my mother-in-law taught me to make. We’ll sit around and talk and be a family and somewhere in all that normal, I’ll push away the thought that we have to work so hard to reach normal, it just isn’t normal.

Aliza told me that when the siren went off, she cried. The children went running to shelter and she was frightened. I don’t remember what we were talking about, why she mentioned it but we all have this poison inside ourselves that we have to release.

On Sunday, I’m going with a group of women to Netivot. It’s a closed group from all over Israel and we share our mornings and our thoughts and meet a few times a year. I missed the last meeting, decided I really wanted to go to this one and so we are stealing a day and traveling to Netivot, so close to Gaza. There, we’ll go shopping to help the local community.

I don’t know what I’ll buy – I don’t usually go shopping on Sundays…I’ll find something. I’ll go there to that beautiful city and I’ll buy something and most of all, I’ll crave normal. I won’t listen for a siren or an announcement that there’s an incoming missile.

It’s too soon, anyway. The Arabs still have what to get from this short period of quiet. They are sitting back and letting the world condemn Israel for whatever the latest complaint is about. That’s okay – that’s kind of normal too. What would a week be without some nation somewhere finding fault in what we do – ignoring all that others do?

Syria is about to fire chemical weapons at its own people; Egypt is hounding demonstrators in the street. There is unease in so many places – perhaps, perhaps I’m wrong and Israel is the most normal country in the world.

At least we find islands of peace each week; at least we find ways to simulate normal. Yes, I have a bomb shelter in my house – but it’s also got a bed in there and an extra freezer, some bookshelves, tons of books. It looks like a normal room – it’s even painted pink. The only sign that it isn’t a normal room comes from the door as you enter, and the second metal window outside.

I haven’t managed to open the metal yet. Elie and his father quickly ran to slam it closed when the first siren went off and it has been closed since then. Maybe I’ll know normal is back when one of us opens those metal shutters?

Tonight, I’ll light the Shabbat candles; tomorrow we’ll begin lighting the Chanukah candles. I guess that is the normal that is Israel.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

About the Author: Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Desperately Craving Normal”

  1. Garden State says:

    Shame on the government of Israel for making this kind of life normal! Why should anyone care about Jews if Jewish state doesn't?

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Hundreds of Israeli-Ethiopians clash with police in a protest in Jerusalem against  police brutality and alleged racism.
Hundreds of Israeli Ethiopians Protest in Tel Aviv, Block Ayalon Highway
Latest Blogs Stories
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Rav Riskin’s desire to strengthen ties with Christians is pure but his methods have crossed lines

A Soldier's Mother

A minute and a half? What if the kids are upstairs with earphones on and they don’t hear the siren?

Jimmy Carter (C-R) and former prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, both members of The Elders group of retired prominent world figures, lay a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, on May 2, 2015

My gut says it’s the New Israel Fund behind the violent demonstrations by Ethiopian Jews in Israel

Doug Goldstein

Discover the meaning of financial freedom and if you’ll achieve the standard of living that you want

Today’s world and a shocking amount of Jews and Israelis support apartheid against Jews in of Israel

Let’s revel in Peter Beinart’s unintended “Ma Tovu” praise of the Jewish state: “It’s modern; it’s democratic; it’s pro-American.”

Point is, the eyes are the soul’s windows and forbidden images, face it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul

Israel has sent almost as many people to help Nepal, as the entire world combined.

Who dreamed of Jews hiding behind concrete in our renewed beloved land? Is this the best we can do?

Are consumers becoming too impatient? What happened to the concept of the long-term purchase?

Hilary standing by her man through thick, thin, blondes, redheads&brunettes won’t get votes in 2016

By not standing you are drawing distinctions between religious & secular, AND religious & religious.

Israel’s radio is like a voice from home…

Truly, in the modern world, we live in the time of ‘What’s in it for me?’ The time of the ‘selfie’!

My final reaction remains – who builds a mountain of ashes, who turns it into a “tourist” site?

Is the recent increase in Arab terror attacks related to the fact that there’s no new government?

More Articles from Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother

A minute and a half? What if the kids are upstairs with earphones on and they don’t hear the siren?

TT

The book’s 2 main points: Jewish self-hatred and anti-Semitism of the past are alive, even thriving

Israel is God’s promise fulfilled; a tiny people wanting to live in peace, prepared to go to war.

We are told “From dust we were created and to dust we return” But not alone…a Jew, is never alone.

“Israel has nuclear weapons & it isn’t afraid to use them if necessary-Does that frighten you? Good”

I heard men singing…I saw men dancing. Can you imagine? It’s literally FREEZING out there! WOW!

It’s time to let the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) protect our citizens.

I listened to what was supposed to symbolize a massive missile attack – sirens wailing all over Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/desperately-craving-normal/2012/12/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: