We fasted yesterday (the 17th of Tammuz) in mourning of the beginning of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem thousands of years ago. I had a big headache yesterday - but instead of breaking my fast early (which is allowed on this fast day versus the more serious ones of the ninth of Av and Yom Kippur) I kept to it. Rockets falling all over the place (last night in Haifa!!for the first time ever) is a good reminder that we need to do teshuva (repent for our sins) and our safety is, in the long run, dependent on G-d.
Last evening we heard a lot of booms outside. At first I thought it must be an Arab wedding (they like to set off fireworks and sometimes shoot into the air - I guess dancing for the bride and groom doesn't do it for them) but then, when I went for a short walk - I saw that they were going off in three different places. Three different weddings in the three little villages near me? No way - it must be because they are celebrating.
Then again - there were also a lot of army flares going up, so our guys were out reminding them not to get too excited and join the "party" themselves.
My friend's husband was sent home from the north and told that if they need him again they will call him. I invited the family for shabbat - but now they would prefer to be home. The invitation of course still stands if her husband is called up again. This is the way we deal with the situation - cooking! At this point there is nothing more to be done.
There are other blogs with up-to-the-minute updates about what is happening. I could theoretically do the same - but I don't want to. Six years ago when the violence started everyone was glued to the tv/radio/computer. The adrenaline junkies were high all of the time! When it turned out that it was going to be a long term situation, those of us who are not adrenaline junkies quickly learned how much news we could take, and what we needed to do to keep our emotional balance. For me it means listening to the news most of the day, but turning it off around 6:00pm. I then read books and take care of small things in the house. It is also important for women with children in the house not to broadcast too much panic/excitement. The kids need to feel secure, and to know that if there is a danger then we will listen to what the army tells us to do and things will be ok.
Most people are saying that this present situation will probably last at least a few weeks, so my routine seems appropriate. I will try to blog every day - and probably more than once a day - but expect mellow stuff! If you want really up-to-the-minute, then Israelmatzav, Hashmonean, and David Bender are good sources.