Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day Five of the War in Beer Sheva

It's midnight. My coach just turned into a pumpkin. Seriously, I've just now returned from a wedding outside of Netivot. Although bedridden with a strep throat, I feared almost nobody from Netivot would show up, so I went. How glad I am for doing so, since the bus was almost empty!!!

I have three brother-in-laws who live in Beer-Sheva. For those of you unacquainted with the "capital city of the Negev," let me give you some details: (No, I'm not going to provide the dry facts found at Wikipedia!!)

My in-laws arrived to Beer Sheva in 1962 from Morrocco, and the city was then tiny. When I married in 1978, alhough not tiny, it was MUCH smaller than today. For, unlike let's say Jerusalem which has topographic and geopolitical implications prohibiting easy expansion, Beer Sheva lies mostly on a level plain. Hence, in most directions the city has grown like an untended shrub that has branched out every which way.

Thankfully, since my marriage, the city has acquired many more religious residents of all persuasions, as well as sadly attracting many of the Goyishe Russian immigrants from the 1991 aliya. There is a very large Garin Torani involved in a lot of outreach work. There are also at least two charedi baalei teshuva Yeshivot, one Ashkenazi and the other Sepharadi. Additionally,of course there is an Ulpana, and the renowned Wolfson Yeshiva Tichonit founded by Rav Avraham Silvert,z'l, (who also founded Ulpanat Arad in 1979.)

A disturbing fact is that Beer Sheva is absolutely teeming with Arabs and Bedouins. When I hear the Peilim Yad Le'Achim ads about "Achmed ben Sara," I ask myself how many of these poor children were born to women from Beer Sheva.

This city, which houses Ben Gurion University as well as the number one Burn Unit in all of Israel at the Soroka hospital, entered an unpleasant new reality this week. Housing at least 170,000 residents,the city is sprawled out in all directions which means that sirens are not clearly heard in some areas. Witness my sister-in-law who calmly went about her business when suddenly she heard a tremendous BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! What Hashgacha Pratit that the city ceased all studies the very day a school there received a direct hit!

On the way home from the wedding tonight, the driver turned the 11 o'clock news report on at a high volume. We had all earlier received phone calls about the two latest rockets to fall in Netivot this evening. Now we heard details about another few grad rockets that landed in Beer Sheva. Who would have ever believed it? Barak was quoted as saying that the army will keep fighting and escalate the war if need be until a clear victory is achieved. How ironic it was that minutes later we drove by Nitzan. I had tears in my eyes. How must these people, the creme de la creme of Am Yisrael feel tonight? Unprotected, the very missiles flying over their heads may be lobbed at Israel from the ruins of their former homes in Gush Katif. For shame! For shame!!


Anonymous said...

I feel your anger Netivotgirl.And now have a better finger on the pulse of the people.Feel better and stay safe.
Debbie, CA

Esther said...

Thank you for your writings. I feel so cut off in UK from all you are going through adn my heart is with you all. May Hashem protect all Am Yisrael at this troubled time.

Netivotgirl said...

Debbie, you're darned right about the anger. I'm so fed up I could puke. I just pray this government sees the war through to a truly satisfactory conclusion. That means NO MORE ROCKETS, and the heck with world opinion!!! The world have never and will never love Jews, so why care what they think?

Esther, I know how you feel about being cut off. At the start of one of the wars, I was in the USA visiting my parents. All I can say is that we here in Israel need your prayers, so that the many daily miracles continue!!