Monday, March 31, 2008

The Ecstasy and The Agony

The ecstasy surrounding the family over the weekend was the celebration of the barmitzvah of one of our grandchildren. Our daughter and husband took family and close friends to a kibbutz for the Sabbath and, although I cannot be truly objective, our grandson excelled himself, and a wonderful time was had by all.

The atmosphere was electric throughout the Sabbath as friends and family all contributed to the weekend each in their own way. Our contribution was the decoration of the dining hall with banners, streamers, balloons and two full walls of photographs of the barmitzvah boy from his birth to the present day in his passage through life. Another member of our extended family made a computer presentation about the life of the barmitzvah boy including incredible animation.

We arrived home in the early hours of the morning on such a high that it was difficult to get to sleep!

The agony came the following morning. While we were still going over the events of the weekend, looking at photographs and relating events of the weekend to friends who phoned, the news came through that the neighborhoods of Bat Yam (where our daughter lives) and Holon were closed due the “high risk” of terrorists roaming around the area. Families were advised to stay indoors. Traffic in the busiest area of the country was brought to a standstill with roadblocks set up to check everyone and everything - yes we have these in Israel not just in the Palesatinian areas

Thankfully the agony was short lived as the security personnel rounded up 4 suspects on a bus in the area within the hour. Although theses suspects didn’t have explosives on them, it turned out they were in Israel illegally but after what happened in Jerusalem the population in general is also in a high state of alert.

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