Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Just Another Day in the Life of.......

This letter, written by someone present in a shopping mall during a terror attack, is published in its entirety with permission of the writer

Wednesday is my Rami Levy day.  Wednesday afternoon to be precise.  I try to make it around 1.30 when things are a little quieter but didn't make it there till just before 2.00 today.  Had a big shop to do because last week it was raining so hard I didn't fancy getting drenched.  Met a good friend on the way round and stopped for a chat. Waited in a long line at the check-out but didn't ask for help to take the stuff to the car because recently I've become a bit paranoid about trusting the friendly and helpful workers there.  I sort of had the feeling that once out in the car park the smile might fall of the Arab face and a knife might come out instead.  So I kept my 5 shekels in my purse and unloaded the shopping trolley by myself.   

I looked at my watch.  It was 3.50.  At 4.00 the dressmaker would open and I could pick up some skirts I'd had altered.  So there was enough time to go to the main shopping mall to buy a pretty Shabbat dress for my 10month old grand-daughter who is coming over for Shabbat, with the rest of her family of course.  

The shopping mall is noisy which is why I suppose I didn't hear the screech of the sirens.  I was too busy trying to decide between the pink dress and the cream one with the pink trimmings.  I looked at my watch again and realised that I'd been in the mall for nearly half an hour and my shopping was still in the car and I hadn't been to the dressmaker yet.  I rushed out and got to the dressmaker by 4.20. Half an hour, long enough for me to feel pretty good with my afternoon's achievements.  That same half an hour was long enough for a sixteen year old terrorist to walk into Rami Levy, to the busy checkout and to stab two people waiting in line.  

I've 'whasapped' the family to say I'm home safely.  I've made myself a strong coffee.  I'll get round to putting the shopping away when my blood pressure gets back to normal.  Then I'll carry on .  What else is there to do?  What else have we been doing since this summer?  

And since nearly all the 32 years that we have been here since we made Aliyah in the middle of the first Lebanon War in 1982 ?  You wake up each day and count your blessings. We made it through the various wars, through the first and second intifadas, and through the constant 'little' attacks.  The odd stabbing here.  The odd shooting spree that felled families in one quick spurt of fire. The odd stone, cinder block or rock that shattered car windows and killed the drivers and their buckled-up children.  

Two of our boys have already been released from reserve Army duty because now they are too old to serve.  But our oldest grandson will be barmitzvah this summer, so in another 5 years we'll start that round again.

So what should we do?  Breathe deeply, check we've got all our fingers and toes, and carry on building up this still wonderful and miraculous country.

Maale Adumim, Israel.

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