Sunday, July 16, 2006


My neighbour's name is Shlomo Ben Shlomo. He sits on his mirpeset(porch) smoking cigarettes wearing a singlet top and shorts. He is retired. Well I assume he is retired because he is there every day and doesn't appear to do anything else. His family always come to visit, and a typical scene is him pushing his grand-daughter on a swing they have constructed on his mirpeset. He always says hello, he always says Shabbat Shalom, and he greeted me Chag Sameach on Yom Ha'atzmaut as we both put up our Israeli flags. He only got mad at me once when a friend of mine parked in his parking spot, but when I explained it was because I bought furniture and she was dropping it off so we could bring it up to my apartment, he broke out into a smile 'Zeh Beseder' 'That's Ok'.

I have received a lot of emails and phonecalls from overseas over the past few days concerned about my safety and the safety of Israel. My family told me how there was a rally in Sydney by the Jewish community in support of Israel and it is only because of this that I felt that perhaps the situation is more dire than I think.

I get up I go to work I come home and then maybe go out for dinner with friends. I am not really sure what else I am meant to be doing at the moment. I think it's crazy what is going on in the North of the country, but I am not really sure what I am meant to be doing sitting here in Jerusalem. My mum told me to buy bottled water and canned least she didn't tell me to leave the country. I guess all I can do is stay here. I guess that's the point...not to flee...sort of remniscent of the joke in '67 "The last one to leave Lod airport should turn the lights out", since everyone was fleeing Israel en masse. So no.1, I am going to stay.

Next. What if long range missiles reach Jerusalem? Apparently they can reach Tel-Aviv and since no-one knows exactly how well armed Hizbullah is (because Iran kindly give them whatever they want), so they assume they have these missiles. Maybe I thought, I should check if my building has a bomb shelter. I walked around the building and I didn't see one. Maybe I was being hysterical. I talked to some friends and this appears to be a normal reaction, they also tried to find out where the bomb shelter was in their building. Ok so this requires more investigation.

On my way home last night I saw Shlomo Ben Shlomo sitting on his mirpeset. I enquired from him in Hebrew:
"Now I don't want you to think I am crazy, but does this building have a bomb shelter?"
He laughs...
"No..there is one over in the next building that we use...but don't worry they are not going to hit Jerusalem, and the minute you hear rockets just come knock on my door and I will protect you" (Accompanied by the chuckles of his wife).

Alright maybe I was over reacting but at least I know now that my neighbour is happy to take care of me...I felt comforted. I thought to myself, even if Shlomo Ben Shlomo does not appear to have the physical capabilities to stop Katuysha rockets, I guess I can always knock on his door andask him where the bomb shelter is and I lugged my bottles of water up the stairs to my apartment.


Blogger Wisey said...

Just look after yourself OK!

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm glad i read your blog today gilly, i feel more informed about the war-like situation and also about your neighbour. thanks

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Gilly!
Take care gorgeous!
Love you lots!!!

2:02 PM  

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