Friday, November 23, 2012

It's after Thanksgiving. Post as promised.

So Eli came home Thansgiving night-- in time for leftovers :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2011

One pie is done, the other is finishing up.
My floor is drying after spilling water all over it.
I really need to change my clothes because water splashed on them and now they are wet. On the up side, I did take off my wet sneakers and socks so my feet are no longer going squish-squish.
Eli's coming home for Shabbat (or at least he's supposed to)!
My feet are dry.
My kitchen floor has damp shmattes [rags] on it. I should probably move them. ...nix that...I stepped on the floor and my feet got wet. Shmattes will wait. I guess so will the pumpkin pie.
Ow-- I bumped my knee on the computer. Not cool. Especially since there was a wet spot right on the knee of the jeans where I bumped my leg. Not cool.

...more later, after Thanksgiving dinner...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Definition of "Ceasefire"

Ceasefire. Noun. \ˈsēs-ˈfi(-ə)r\ We cease and they fire.

A ceasefire was declared at 9 pm, Israel time. Since then the follwing has occurred:
9:00: Siren sounds in Be'er Sheva and in the regional councils of B'nei Shimon and local areas
9:30: 2 rockets exploded in Eshkol
9:05: 4 rockets shot towards Be'er Sheva; three exploded in open fields
9:12: A rocket exploded in the yishuv Sha'ar HaNegev; no injuries
9:17: Spokesperson Unit of the IDF: We have stopped firing into Gaza. We will open fire only if our forces are endangered.
9:18: After the ceasefire, sirens were heard in Sderot, Sha'ar HaNegev, and Chof Ashkelon
9:26: After the agreement, two sirens were heard in the Regional Council of Eshkol
9:26: A rocket exploded in Sha'ar HaNegev
9:32: More sirens in Eshkol and the Regional Council of Chof Ashkelon
9:38: Three explosions heard near the yishuv of Sha'ar HaNegev; there were sirens there
9:42: The firing continues from Gaza: Sirens in Sha'ar HaNegev and Chof Ashkelon
9:44: After 9 pm: three rockets exploded in Eshkol, no injuries
10:00: Sirens in Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, and the surrounding regional councils
10:08: Rocket fired over Ashdod
10:308: Sirens in Ashdod and Gan Yavne
10:41: Rocket exploded in an open area in the Regional Council of Be'er Tuvia; no injuries

Need I say more?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Updates, Operation Pillar of Defense, Day 7

Taken from an email I sent. I just have no energy to write another update.

Hi everybody,

More updates...there was another siren in the Jerusalem area today-- rocket fell in Gush Etzion. The Iron Domes are doing a great job of protecting the areas where they are stationed, but there are so many rockets; there were some hits today that caused both damage and injuries (mild to serious) and apparently it looks like fireworks in the South (at least according to my husband-- I'll take his word for that). There was a direct hit on an apartment in Rishon L'Tzion What else? On the road by Beitar there was a rock-throwing attack (NOT a shooting attack, as originally stated) on a car that wounded one woman; she was taken in serious condition to  Hadassah Ein Karem. Also a chayal, Joseph Fartuk, was killed by a mortar shell; Baruch Dayan Emet. I think those are the major things over here. 

Despite talks of a ceasefire, it does not seem like that's going to happen tonight (considering the 6 pm and 9 pm deadlines have passed...the next deadline is midnight...), and apparently residents of Be'er Sheva (and possibly Ashdod) are demonstrating against a cease-fire. Schools within 40 kilometers of Gaza are still closed until further notice. 

There was a pro-Hamas rally at Hebrew University...which broke up when there was a tzeva adom. Point taken?

Things are still open in the South, though. There is a new idea being sent around via Facebook and I will copy it here: The idea is to order a pizza from Pizza Roma in Ashdod 08-866-7000. They will send it to a family nearby. My mother-in-law ordered a pizza from there (I explained the plan). He delivered it to a family who he thought needed it -- the mother was a teacher in the school that was hit by a rocket. The pizza man called me back after he delivered the pizza and the family was so uplifted to know that someone in America had thought to order them pizza. He said he himself decided to send a pizza to a different random family.

There is another store in Sderot that is also interested in getting orders (08-661-2007)...and I am sure there are more.
They are expecting calls.

I think that's about all the latest news. You can keep checking out updates on if you read Hebrew. If not, is in English (that's Arutz7)

Again, thank you for your tefillos and prayers. Please continue to daven for the safety of everyone here and for Israel.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Being Taken Care Of

One of the amazing things about Israel is the caring; as much as there are internal politics, there is underneath is all an amazing sense of caring and family.

In case you missed the memo, Eli (and another approximately 75,000 other reservists) got called up on Friday. Yesterday was Sunday, the first workday of the week in Israel. Of course everyone was talking about מבצע עמוד ענן (Operation Pillar of Defense) and I told a couple of teachers that Eli had been called up. One of them, who already had a family staying with her, told me that I was welcome to stay by her (on top of the family she already has over, plus her own!)

Today I went to the woman who handles the timesheets and salaries and told her that I had forgotten to sign out and in on time, and she says, "I'm not interested in that; I'm interested in how your husband is doing. Were you able to talk to him today?" Only after I told her did she tell me what to do about my timesheet. I hadn't told her anything-- I didn't even SEE her yesterday, but I'm pretty sure the entire school knows whose relatives have been called and when.

Among the therapists--my husband, another OT's husband, and a third OT's two nephews, a speech therapist's husband, and more.

Since people found out that Eli was called I have been literally flooded with invitations to friend's and co-worker's homes. Just amazing.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

War as the Wife

So remember how I wrote a few days ago (ok, four to be technical) that we didn't know if Eli was going to be called up? Well that question has been answered with a resounding YES!

That was Friday's adventure. We went away for Shabbat to my family and a few minutes before candle-lighting (to welcome in the Sabbath) Eli got a call on his phone from his commander that, from his end, went something like this:
-I'm not home; I don't have anything with me.
-Ok, I need to get my stuff.

I knew that it was his commander-- no way was that a friend. So we raced back home (even made it back in time to light Shabbos candles in our home (although we did ask Eli's mom to light candles for me in case we didn't make it in time to light, because you cannot light a fire on Shabbat)) to get him ready to leave. My family wanted me to stay and I did too, because I knew that the mom knew about what I was feeling, but there was no way in hell I wasn't going with Eli. So I went with him; on the way out the dad brought out the pans of apple-pecan and pumpkin-cinnamon buns we had brought and threw them in the backseat, saying, "You take them with you."

The house is now a mess-- Eli went to his parents' house to get a big army bag to take, as well as some uniforms, equipment, etc., and I stayed home to get stuff ready for him by us. On the way home we made a list of things he needs and attempted to go according to that; we forgot the Band-Aids but remembered the ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin). At least he has enough socks and underwear. And a sewing kit (which apparently came in handy when his pants ripped. Oops).

His mom sent his sister over to be with me, but I really just wanted to be alone so I could concentrate and just get what Eli needed ready, so I sent her back. I felt bad, but I needed my space and time without having someone else there to think about, to tell what to do, or whatever.

He came back from his parents' house plus snacks and minus a few things he needed; we thought they were in our apartment, but they weren't, so I went back to his parents' house where his brother helped me find some thermal shirts and more uniforms, and Eli stayed at home and continued getting ready.

I went back home and continued packing him up while he took a quick shower and got dressed to go. He got a message from his commander and then coordinated with someone else in a parallel unit who he traveled with.  By about 6:30  he was packed, and I got changed into Shabbos clothes and we went to his parents. Sang Shalom Aleichem (the song to welcome in the angels who escort people back from shul [synagogue]) and Eli's dad made kiddush [the blessing over the wine at the start of a festive meal] and gave him a bracha [blessing] while everyone else went to wash their hands before eating.

First course was fish, but Eli had to leave so he skipped the fish and his mom made him a plate with food; he ate very little and then had to go. As he was leaving, a neighbor came out and gave him a bracha. His mom gave him a hug and a kiss and then we walked to the car where we said goodbye. It sucked.

His mom insisted I sleep over that night; I did-- it was easier than arguing. Didn't eat-- I really had no appetite. I brought pajamas (aka Eli's, because his sweatpants are comfy) but forgot my toothbrush...oops.

In the morning I went back to my apartment and brushed my teeth and found the mitpachat [scarf] that I wanted to wear and then went back to his parents' house and we all went to a friend of mine for lunch. In the afternoon I slept by his parents and went back to my apartment right after Shabbos was over, made Havdalah [the ceremony that ends the Sabbath and seperates it from the rest of the week] by me and attempted to sort out the mess we made. It's a work in progress.

I sent my family and some friends an email breifly explaining what happened over Shabbbos, and then stayed up until it was after Shabbos in NY to call my parents' house so they wouldn't read the email and freak out, or read Eli's mom's blog and freak out. Of course my sister called me at 1:28 in the morning to check on me...I did say they could call at any time, but seriously? Don't call at an ungodly hour in the middle of the ight to CHECK on me. I'm fine. Assume I'm sleeping and would like to stay that way until my alarm wakes me up at 6:20. Please. Thank you all, have a nice day.

Eli's family is being really great and making sure I'm okay, but I really just want to be left alone. I have other friends and family, too, who are also fantastic. But just...unless I ask, leave me alone. I really know how to ask for help when I need it, and I know I can go over to any of my friends whenever I want, but for now-- just leave me alone.

It's kind of like over the summer, when I was in NY and Eli was here. It sucks, but we will get through this.

His mom asked me not to read her blog, because then I'll know she's scared. Of course she's scared- we're all scared. Welcome to life in Israel in the middle of a war...

I end with the prayers for Israel and for the Welfare of the Soldiers of the Israel Defense Force:
Prayer for the State of Israel:
אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם, צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגוֹאֲלוֹ, בָּרֵךְ אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, רֵאשִׁית צְמִיחַת גְּאֻלָּתֵנוּ. הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ בְּאֶבְרַת חַסְדֶּךָ, וּפְרֹשׁ עָלֶיהָ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ, וּשְׁלַח אוֹרְךָ וַאֲמִתְּךָ לְרָאשֶׁיהָ, שָׂרֶיהָ וְיוֹעֲצֶיהָ, וְתַקְּנֵם בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ. חַזֵּק אֶת יְדֵי מְגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ קָדְשֵׁנוּ, וְהַנְחִילֵם אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְשׁוּעָה וַעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחוֹן תְּעַטְּרֵם, וְנָתַתָּ שָׁלוֹם בָּאָרֶץ וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם לְיוֹשְׁבֶיהָ. וְאֶת אַחֵינוּ כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל פְּקָד-נָא בְּכָל אַרְצוֹת פְּזוּרֵיהֶם, וְתוֹלִיכֵם מְהֵרָה קוֹמְמִיּוּת לְצִיּוֹן עִירֶךָ וְלִירוּשָׁלַיִם מִשְׁכַּן שְׁמֶךָ, כַּכָּתוּב בְּתוֹרַת משֶׁה עַבְדֶּךְ: "אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמַיִם, מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ. וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יָרְשׁוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ, וְהֵיטִבְךָ וְהִרְבְּךָ מֵאֲבֹתֶיךָ" (דברים ל,ד-ה). וְיַחֵד לְבָבֵנוּ לְאַהֲבָה וּלְיִרְאָה אֶת שְׁמֶךָ, וְלִשְׁמֹר אֶת כָּל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָתֶךָ. וּשְׁלַח לָנוּ מְהֵרָה בֶּן דָּוִד מְשִׁיחַ צִדְקֶךָ, לִפְדּות מְחַכֵּי קֵץ יְשׁוּעָתֶךָ. הוֹפַע בַּהֲדַר גְּאוֹן עֻזֶּךָ עַל כָּל יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵּבֵל אַרְצֶךָ, וְיֹאמַר כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נְשָׁמָה בְּאַפּוֹ: "ה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מֶלֶךְ, וּמַלְכוּתו בַּכּל מָשָׁלָה". אָמֵן סֶלָה.

Our Father in Heaven, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first manifestation of the approach of our redemption. Shield it with Your lovingkindness, envelop it in Your peace, and bestow Your light and truth upon its leaders, ministers, and advisors, and grace them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our holy land, grant them deliverance, and adorn them in a mantle of victory. Ordain peace in the land and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness. Lead them, swiftly and upright, to Your city Zion and to Jerusalem, the abode of Your Name, as is written in the Torah of Your servant Moses: “Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.” Draw our hearts together to revere and venerate Your name and to observe all the precepts of Your Torah, and send us quickly the Messiah son of David, agent of Your vindication, to redeem those who await Your deliverance.
Manifest yourself in the splendor of Your boldness before the eyes of all inhabitants of Your world, and may everyone endowed with a soul affirm that the Lord, God of Israel, is king and his dominion is absolute. Amen forevermore.

Prayer for the Soldiers of the Israel Defense Force
מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבותֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקב הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא הֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וכוחות הביטחון, הָעומְדִים עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ וְעָרֵי אֱלהֵינוּ מִגְּבוּל הַלְּבָנון וְעַד מִדְבַּר מִצְרַיִם וּמִן הַיָּם הַגָּדול עַד לְבוא הָעֲרָבָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה בָּאֲוִיר וּבַיָּם ובכל מקום שהם. יִתֵּן ה' אֶת אויְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחְלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם. יַדְבֵּר שׂונְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבְעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחון. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה' אֱלהֵיכֶם הַהלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם איבֵיכֶם לְהושִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם: וְנאמַר אָמֵן

May He who blessed our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and the security forces who keep guard over our country and cities of our Lord from the border with Lebanon to the Egyptian desert and from the Mediterranean Sea to the approach to the Arava, on land, air, and on sea, and everywhere that they are.
May the Almighty deliver us our enemies who arise against us, may the Holy One, blessed be He, preserve them and save them from all sorrow and peril, from danger and ill.
May He send blessing and success in all their endeavors, may He deliver to them those who hate us and crown them with salvation and victory, so that the saying may be fulfilled through them, "For the Lord, your God, who walks with you and to fight your enemies for you and to save you", and let us say, Amen.

Suggested Tehillim [Psalms] to recite on behalf of the soldiers are: 20, 83, 91, 121, 130, and 144

Please continue to pray for Israel, the soldiers, the people who are living here under constant threat, and for peace.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

War as a citizen and not a tourist

As I posted on Facebook...Joy...

Don't know what this means practically for me. No idea of Eli is going to be called-- last time they called up reservists from his unit as sort of backup, to prepare things so the guys who are doing regular service have them ready.

I've gotten a few messages from Magen David Adom-- one said they're not calling in my region to assist in the South, and about a half hour ago I got a text message from the volunteer coordinator in my city that they are sending people, and if you can go even tonight, to let them know. Not a clue what's going to happen.

Well, I guess there's a first time for everything.

In the meantime-- pray.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Seating and Public Transportation

There is a sign on the Egged buses (and the buses of some other bus companies) that says (approximately) that any passenger is entitled to sit wherever he/she wants, excepting the seats that are marked for disabled passengers. Harassing passengers about this can be considered a criminal offense.

About three years ago I was traveling on a bus to a very religious city. I was sitting in the third row and there were still quite a few seats empty right around where I was sitting. The man turned his head away and said to me, "The first three rows are for men only." I said, "Ok, I'll move," and I moved one row back. As the bus continued on the route, it got more and more full. I gave my seat to a pregnant woman, and there were no other seats left besides...a few in the first three rows. So I went and sat back down and lo and behold, nobody said anything to me.

Fast forward to last week. I got on a bus and there were many charedi [ultra-religious] men sitting in the two-seat sets, each with the other seat next to them empty. So I picked one and sat down; the man sitting next to me got up and moved. 
Before I sat down I had mixed feelings-- Should I sit down next to one of these men? Which one? Are they going to move? If they do, it's because of me-- is that right? Not every charedi man gets up. I can't sit farther back, I get nauseous. Should I stand? But there are seats.

On one hand, I sat down and the man moved. On the other hand, there were plenty of other seats available; they just happened to be next to someone else. The man had at least three other seats that were available. 

It's always a dilemma when I sit down next to a charedi man. I find that the emptier the bus, the more likely they are to move. On a packed bus there are either no seats available, or the man stays put. I never know what to do, but I know that I'm not going to stand when there are empty seats available because someone doesn't want to sit next to me. If a smelly person sits next to me, I can move-- did that person make me move? No, but I don't feel comfortable sitting next to him/her, so I move. I feel the same about this-- if someone doesn't want to sit next to me, he/she doesn't have to, but I have a right to sit where I want on public buses.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lauren- 1!

Yes! I beat Egged!
I spoke to Misrad Hatachbura and lo and behold-- at least one more school that should have been on the Egged list from the start is on it! Yay!

What else? The chagim are over, and life is returning to normal in Israel. Things are open again on a regular basis, and the stores are gearing up for Chanukah soon (a month).

Work is getting into a routine. I don't want to work during Chanukah, so I'm adding in days/hours here and there so I won't have to work and the residents get the hours they are supposed to.

Not too much else going on. More when...there is something to say.