One of the things that happens when the terror attacks start up again is that you become hyper-sensitive to ambulance sirens. So it is, that every siren portends another pigua, God forbid, and you go quiet and start listening to see if that one, lone siren, is going to be joined by many others – the sure sign of terror stalking the land.
On Shabbat, I fell asleep on the couch, and started dreaming about crashes and sirens. I woke up with a start – to find one ambulance, 5 ‘first responder’ motorbikes, a first responder car and even, a first responder on a bike, right outside my building.
In the middle of the road, there was an unconscious Domino’s Pizza delivery guy, lying a good 4 metres from where his bike had fallen. They stretchered him into the ambulance, blared off to hospital, and the locals all gathered around to discuss.
Was it a pigua? (terror attack). Was it a hit-and-run? Had the pizza guy just fallen off his bike randomly, in the middle of a quiet Jerusalem street on Shabbat, and somehow knocked himself unconscious?
In the meantime, it just brought back again how fragile life actually is.
One of my correspondents lives in the shadow of a live volcano, In Central America, a place where they also get a lot of large earthquakes. I asked her if that was scary, and she told me that after she learned most accidental deaths happen in the bathroom, she stopped worrying about the volcano up the road.
God is in charge.
Whatever He decides, goes.
It’s a very useful lesson, isn’t it? Especially if you’re a parent of teenagers who have an uncanny knack of finding themselves in the middle of the ‘action’, wherever that action tends to be.
What am I going to do? Lock them in a box for the next five years? Chain them to their beds, so they can stay ‘safe’ at home but go completely bonkers?
(It’s still tempting…)
But after the last, horrible, spate of terror attacks a couple of years ago, where people were being stabbed and run over on my doorstep on a regular basis, I realized life is to be lived, and that I can’t let my fear of ‘what might be’ run my life or control my children.
True, I can’t rely on miracles.
But also true, we all rely on miracles every single day just to function. Every morning I wake up in one piece, that’s a miracle.
There’s a bumper sticker in Israel that reads:
“You woke up this morning. Everything else is a bonus.”
At times like this, it’s good to be reminded.
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