Thursday, March 24, 2011

Like the poppies

Kfar Shamai with Tzfat barely visible across the valley
The weather has been in a fickle mood lately.  Yesterday started out with a cheerfully sunny morning but then clouds settled into the valley below and played peek-a-boo with the sun, quickly rising in the sky.  I went to the shuk (open-air market) in Tzfat to stock up on fruits and vegetables and was constantly taking off my sweater and putting it back on as the sun did the same with its heavenly grey garments.

Now there is hail, hurled from the sky by dark, angry clouds.  The hail has ceased, the clouds are parting, and birds are singing again already.  As the old saying goes, "If you don't like the spring weather, just wait a minute."

Even though the sun was shining all afternoon, yesterday darkened considerably as news spread of rockets smashing into Beer Sheva and an explosion in Jerusalem.  A woman, a British tourist around my mother's age, was murdered by the terrorist who planted a bomb near the central bus station in Israel's crowded capital.  It's amazing how much thought goes into terror attacks; these are no crimes of passion, carried out in the heat of rage over injustice.  It takes a team, working together on a plan for some time, pouring countless hours into their efforts to kill and maim as many children, men, and women as possible.  They picked a Wednesday because that is the day that large numbers of women are usually out shopping for Shabbat.  Had I still been living in Tekoa, I'm sure I would have been at the market in Jerusalem that very day instead of the one in Tzfat.


These flowers are on the endangered species list.
Sometimes it feels like we might also be, eventually.
Paramedics and police arrived after the explosion to find
about this many people injured, stained red like the poppies.

But we keep pressing on.  Tamar Fogel, after loosing most of her family in a horrific attack almost two weeks ago, decided to come out and talk to the world.  It is at the same time devastating and uplifting to hear her speak about her past, her future.  "K'ilu," a word she uses often, is the Hebrew equivalent of "like" and is one of the few clues to the fact that she is only 12 years-old.

Shimshon Moshe, owner of the twice-bombed kiosk in Jerusalem, leads the way with the strength and determination that has become characteristic of Israelis, "Tomorrow morning we’ll return to clean and set up and do what we need to and return to work.  Nothing will overcome us."