web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

A Resilient Nation

Walz-112312

Share Button

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?

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “A Resilient Nation”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli soldiers closed off the area near where a terror attack occurred  near Hevron on Passover eve, in search of the terrorists.
Netanyahu: PA Incitement Caused Pre-Passover Terror Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Lebovic-041814

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Benveniste-041814

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

Dann-041814

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

Perhaps worse than all the above is the acute lack of unity among Jews

At our seder we emulate the way it was celebrated in Temple times, as if the Temple still stood.

Not one world leader holds Abbas accountable for his part in the breakdown of negotiations.

The 1948 re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty was a modern day Exodus and Parting of the Sea.

Spies who caused American deaths and worked for enemy states received lighter sentences than Pollard.

Christie’s “good friend” is an Imam who supports murderers of Jews and defames Israel and Christians.

One grey night it happened, Bibi caved no more
& Poof that Foggy Bottomer, he vanished from our sight

More Articles from Steve K. Walz

Kerry reportedly admitted that he had “made a mistake.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem on March 31.
(Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO/FLASH90)

Before returning to Washington, Abbas reiterated to Kerry in a face-to-face meeting in Ramallah that the PA and the Arab League would never recognize the existence of a Jewish state in Israel.

Dechner admitted funneling significant amounts of money to the defendants in order to move the Holyland project forward.

On Tuesday, the London Daily Telegraph reported that an intelligence source involved with the secretive investigation into the plane’s disappearance claimed that the incident might have been part of a deliberate suicide mission by one of the pilots or someone on board the aircraft. International aviation experts, including Israeli officials, believe that someone deliberately punched in a computer rerouting code shortly after takeoff.

According to Arab and Israeli media sources, Abbas steadfastly demanded that the White House prod Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into releasing convicted killers Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat. He also reportedly insisted that Israel freeze all settlement construction activities in exchange for extending the peace talks until the end of the year.

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the international community on Monday for turning a blind eye to Iran’s continued attempts to foment global terrorism.

Despite Obama’s threat of military force against Assad unless he relinquishes his chemical weapons cache, Assad has repeatedly failed to meet UN deadlines to deliver his deadly arsenal to a special arms disposal unit.

IAF jets and advanced drones have been aggressively monitoring the transfer of advanced Russian and Iranian made weaponry from Syria to Hizbullah bases in Lebanon.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: