Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Real Life in Netivot by Esther Revivo

Life is made up of cycles, whether it be the seasons of the year, or less pleasant things. Take today, erev Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, when we reunited the city. Before 1967, the Jordanians refused entry to anyone but Muslims, unlike our government which welcomes and respects visitors of all faiths.

ANYWAY..... Last year, our Ulpana (school) bussed our Sederot pupils to our school's evening celebration. Ten minutes before the girls boarded the bus, (they were milling about around the area, about 15 meters away,) the siren 'color red' sounded. The hysterical girls did what they had been taught NOT to do. Instead of running to to crouch by the nearest building, they all ran onto the bus screaming and lay down. The kassam landed EXACTLY where they had been standing seconds before!!

On the way home after the program, once again the dreaded siren went off. The already traumatized girls had to get off the bus and stood near the wall next to the town's swimming pool into which another Kassam landed, just meters away. Thankfully the cement wall they stood behind shielded them from shrapnel. Needless to say, these girls' fathers all said the 'Ha'gomel' prayer (that one says when his life is saved) the following Shabbat at Shul.

Today, exactly one year later, these girls had a miserable morning. For, our Sederot pupils have seen until now, the 5-8 school hours spent at Ulpanat Tzvia Sedot Negev where I teach as a break from the tension filled hours they know at home. At about 8.30 during morning prayers, I was with my 8th graders, half of whom live in Sederot proper. The sirens in Netivot went off as they did last Shabbat. ALL the pupils were hysterical, but the girls from Sederot more than others. It broke my heart.

We all crouched down under the tables, and I was yelling out a perek of Tehillim (Psalms.) In the end, one rocket landed in Netivot and the other (for the first time,) landed in Moshav Ma'agalim. These rockets are steadily creeping to the south towards Beer Sheva. It took a long time for the girls to calm down, as this was a sad milestone. The end of safety during at least part of their day to day lives.

Esther Revivo
Ulpanat Tzvia
Sedot Negev
NOW.... for those who have been extremely unsympathetic with my situation here in Netivot.
"MOVE!" I have been told quite unsympathetically.(In other words, shut up! Who told you to go live in Israel? You asked for it!!) Well, move to where? The entire northern section of Israel is within distance of the newly equipped Hizballa. By the way, did you know that in the Golan, such as at Gamla (Do a google search please!) when you dig into the ground, you find coins from over a thousand years ago with the word Jerusalem engraved on them? The entire Golan has revealed countless synagogues and Jewish settlements from post-Biblical times.

So, that's out. What about the center of Israel? Well, that entire area has for decades been a disaster area as far as bombs on buses, discos (not that yours truly goes to any,) shopping malls; and simply on the street are concerned. So, what do you suggest? Leave Israel? THIS is my home!!!!

Some of you probably agree with Mr. Olmert that of course we must give up more land for peace. Well, the "PEACE" yours truly now enjoys in her home and workplace is a result of the Gaza pull-out. If and When there is a sane entitiy which truly seeks peace, then and only then should Israel consider giving up any more land. And I for one am against that.

Why? Because I don't trust any of them. Whether it be Fatah, Hizballa, the El Axa Brigades or Chamas (did you know that the USA helped found Chamas as an effort to "get on Arafat's case," and break his monopoly years ago?) they are all the same: they want the entire country which is now called Israel (there has NEVER been a Palestinian people--- read up on it please; enough reading on the Obama/ Clinton/ McCain morass!!!! )

I am not afraid for my safety. I firmly believe that we all live in the palm of G-d's hand, so to speak. Should He wish to take anyone "upstairs," He does so. Abroad, by means of car accidents, illnesses, or maniacs that have assault rifles. Here, he does so occasionally through terror attacks. Was I uptight today? Yes, because I was responsible for over 35 hysterical teenagers. But just as I was not afraid to visit my friends that lived in the Gaza Strip settlements, I am not afraid to live where I do. THIS is my home and here I will stay. I will NOT conveniently jump into the Sea and give them the keys!

Praying for saner days-Esther Revivo

No comments: