web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

A Resilient Nation

Walz-112312

Where else but in Israel would a fresh-faced, eight-year-old Little League rookie wearing a New York Mets uniform smile and casually ask you, “By the way, during the game today, if a rocket is fired at Modiin, where do we run?”

Where else but in Israel would a confused Tel Aviv taxi driver ask his passenger, “What do I do now?” several seconds after air raid sirens are sounded throughout the city?

Within the span of a few days this past week, I was faced with the challenges of easing a child’s innocent anxiety during a “relaxing” after-school activity and dealing with my own mortality while trying to arrive on time at a meeting in the bustling Tel Aviv region.

Call it what you wish: absurd, surreal, or something else. For me, each instance provided a sense of irony and awe.

Coaching one of Modiin’s Little League squads on Friday afternoons is a physical and emotional release for me, allowing me to realize a lifelong dream of being involved with baseball while diminishing the stress of daily life. But even coaching baseball comes with a proviso unique in Israel. Several hours before the game, the Israel Association of Baseball alerted all Little League coaches (Little League in Israel runs from October until early June) of their legal obligation to instruct all youngsters where to run if air raid sirens sounded.

Several minutes before we started practice for an upcoming Chanukah tournament, I was chosen by the other coaches to explain – in Hebrew and English – the situation to the nearly 20 Little League team members. As I stared at the kids, some of whom had recently made aliyah from the U.S., I wondered how they would react to a potentially chaotic scene. To my great relief, both the American olim and the Israeli youngsters listened attentively and then segued into their baseball banter without missing a beat. In fact, it was one of the most productive practices of the season.

On Sunday morning, I boarded a crowded train to central Tel Aviv, disembarked and hailed a taxi.

Less than a minute after the driver started to wind his way through the busy streets to nearby Ramat Gan, air raid sirens sounded throughout the city. My initial reaction was that I didn’t believe it. But the driver, a grizzled Tel Avivian in his early 60s, was positively confused. He exclaimed, “I have no idea what to do!” Realizing that this was not a scene from a Hollywood movie but a real-life rocket attack in the heart of Israel, I calmly told the driver to pull over so that we could at least make it to the entrance of the nearest building.

We got out and walked less than five yards to a storefront. For several seconds we pondered where the missile would hit. And then a loud boom echoed above our heads. A motorcycle driver standing nearby pointed up and said, “Iron Dome shot it down.”

I looked up and saw the contrails and puffs of smoke from both the Iron Dome missile and the remnants of the Fajr-5 projectile that had been fired by Islamic Jihad terrorists in the Gaza Strip. As if on cue, all of the citizens who had abandoned their cars in the middle of the road, many with the engines still running, returned to their vehicles and proceeded to their destinations. Everyone just kept on moving, without hysteria or tears. Life goes on. (And yes, I was on time for my meeting.)

No one appeared out of sync, except for one marketing executive whose hands were shaking because her son was sitting in a tank along the Gaza border waiting to see if his unit would be among the first to invade enemy territory.

Walking back to the train, I looked up at the skyscrapers that are growing by leaps and bounds in Tel Aviv and adjacent Ramat Gan and just shook my head. For a split second, my body shuddered.

It is widely believed that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are trying to cause an Israeli version of 9/11. A successful missile strike on a skyscraper or two in Tel Aviv or Ramat Gan would kill or maim hundreds and send frantic citizens on the streets below racing for their lives. Despite the fact that the cowering residents of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Ofakim and Sderot, among other cities, have been hammered mercilessly, a single Fajr-5 strike against a Tel Aviv skyscraper would make headlines worldwide and spark an all-out war on Gaza. Which is exactly what Iran wants.

The irony of all this is that influential IDF generals and the Pentagon initially rejected the Iron Dome system, with senior military officials claiming it couldn’t possibly work. Without the insistence of Amir Peretz, a much-maligned former defense minister who lobbied hard for scientists and former IDF personnel to receive the funds to build the system, untold numbers of Israeli civilians could have been killed or maimed during the past week.

Where else but in Israel can one experience nissim geluyim (overt miracles) from Above?

About the Author:


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.

No Responses to “A Resilient Nation”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
An F-16 fighter jet takes off from Ramat David air force base.
Israeli Air Strike Allegedly Kills 5 in Syrian Golan Heights
Latest Indepth Stories
Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

Obama on Iran Deal

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

Open Tent

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Hamas on the Temple Mount - Jul 3, 2015

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

The US-UNRWA accord is another example of this White House, hostile to Israel, disregarding truth.

On the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’av, a reflection on the dangerous deal with Iran

The Kotel gained significance around 1550. Previously, many Jews prayed on the Temple Mount itself.

All Jews MUST stand together to oppose boycotts against Israel. So why does NIF & JCF support BDS?

This year it is hard to concentrate on anything but Iran building nuclear weapons to destroy Israel

Bibi failed the moment he transferred Israel’s Iran problem to the international arena.

I was entranced by Kaddish, a song of sorrow of the whole of Israel for the 1000s of years of exile

Like the Avos, we are invested with the mission to inspire humanity to become nobler and greater

More Articles from Steve K. Walz
: Israeli soldiers leave Gaza late Monday. A three-day cease-fire brokered by Egypt put an end, at least temporarily, to the fighting. See story, above.

As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.

Walz-080114-Map

The operation against the tunnels is a first and necessary step in the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.

“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.

Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”

If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.

Netanyahu brushed aside Lapid’s political threats, saying that he was either too politically inexperienced or unaware of the true nature of the peace negotiations with Abbas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-resilient-nation/2012/11/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: