Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Trick or Treat, Watch out for the Rocket!

The second night of Chanuka, the festival of lights! Or so I thought. Yesterday in Sderot, it felt like Halloween, but reverse.

Sderot youth went from house to house, singing, dancing and handing out jelly doughnuts. I, along with some other volunteers, joined in on the fun. Trick or treat - Sderot Style!

I met a very lovely family while passing out suphganiyot, as they are called in the Holy Land.

Three years removed from making Aliyah from Chicago, I connected right away with Chana Turk and her four children, ages 8, 7, 5 and 2 and three quarters (he claimed he wasn't just 2 years old). After five minutes, Chana insisted I come to her in Modin for Shabbat (free food - you know I'm there).

As we got out of the Turk minivan to continue trick or treating, that is give out more suphganiyot, the alert sounded, "Tzevah Adom", "Tzevah Adom".

I bolted to the nearest house, not knowing whether it even had a bomb shelter. I yelled to the Turk family to follow; I still remember the looks on their faces - just as confused and startled as I was.

There was not enough room in the shelter for everyone. So I helped get all of the kids and a young baby from another family inside. The father was holding his baby up in the air in his cradle.

One minute after the "Tzevah Adom" sounded, everyone exited the shelter. We sat down for a bit with the family we were taking shelter from, who hospitably gave us some snacks. As soon as we got out, Chana's children started asking questions.

"What's a rocket?" said her youngest daughter, "I want to go home, I'm scared."

Looking at the startled face of her oldest son, Chana reassured him, "You're a mitzvah boy today", and then told all of her kids, "Everything is fine, we'll leave in a bit."

During these terrible times when rockets randomly fall from the sky (crazy, right?), Sderot needs more people like Chana and her children to support her. Kol Hakavod to the Turks!
We said our goodbyes, and I left with Noam Bedein, the director of the Sderot Media Center (, to see the sight of where the Qassam fell.
The rocket landed in the apartment of an elderly couple five minutes from our previous location. Without a shelter in their apartment, they were lucky to be on the other side of their flat when the Qassam fell.

The building where the Qassam fell is fortunate to have a inhabitable communal shelter - there are 78 uninhabitable shelters across town, which need $15,000 each to repair - but unfortunately for the residents, it was locked!

What if you were standing right outside and wanted to rush down the shelter? Oh tough luck - duck, cover and pray to God.

Also, in case you found yourself standing near this bus stop-shelter pictured to the right, you would need to find somewhere else to take cover!

This shelter, among many others all over Sderot, are made only 20 centimeters thick, as opposed to the necessary 40 centimeters, because the dude who built them wanted to save some money.

I love the lack of corruption in this country (the Prime Minister has never been investigated,right?) - Am Yisrael Chai!

Well, that was my day trick or treating in Sderot- safe and sound.
Next time I go trick or treating in Beverly Hills, I'll make sure to watch out for the random rockets falling from the sky.

1 comment:

VinceP1974 said...

Lots of respect!

What you're doing is awesome man.

I'm an American guy in Chicago (Christian).. the situation in Israel brings me much sorrow and anger too.