You would think that an emergency preparation session offered by the Israeli army/government/official business would be all about the reality of what is going on today. And, if it were for Anglos, you would expect it to be totally in English.You would be wrong on both accounts.
We went yesterday like the good puppies we are to this meeting that was scheduled to discuss security, not specifically tied to any current events. After all, the meeting had been set up before the trouble with the drone from Syria and the tragic death of two soldiers in the Golan due to the explosion of a hand grenade. It’s certainly in the back of my mind, even in this magic kingdom of Tzfat. We can’t kid ourselves that we are immune here. Look what happened in Germany overnight, and in Nice on Bastille Day. Storming the ramparts indeed.
And so, the English-speaking city liaison who really doesn’t speak English so good interrupted the soldier who had started a powerpoint (with slides in Hebrew, but she did translate them pretty good) to introduce an official from the city/government I think in charge of security, who then spoke for a few minutes in Hebrew (probably Russian is his first language) about the importance of taking this advice we were to receive very seriously. I would hope that everyone, in every language all over the world, is taking this advice very seriously indeed.
Now, until yesterday, the biggest crisis I was dealing with was remembering all the new numbers in my life; my Israeli cellphone, my American number that comes along with the cellphone plan (and for whatever reason, they gave me two), my Google voice number, my Israeli identity number, my new code for my new credit card (who knows if that will change when they change my card to have my name correctly spelled). Of course, they will change that, since that is the only number I’ve managed to remember. I feel foolish, when asked what my number is, that I have to look it up. So foolish I will remain for a while.
So what was the other thing that I wasn’t expecting to be told about? Earthquakes. The army/government is taking preparation for earthquakes in this area very seriously. It’s been about 100 years since the last one, so we’re about due. They spent less time talking about it only because they could refer to all the preparations you should take with rockets. Oh, yeah, that was the first topic and that was expected.
Here in Tzfat, we have 30 seconds to find a safe space from a rocket attack. That is assuming that the rockets will come in from the north or east. There is no safe room here in this house; the walls are extraordinarily thick and so one of the interior rooms will have to do. That was something that they stressed; you learn it now so that in an emergency, it will be not hard. No, they didn’t say that. They said you would be prepared.
I am hoping it will stay in that mode.
I am praying it will change to never be needed.