Last night or really very early this morning we woke up to the sound of a siren so we gathered up the kids and went to our mamad (safe room). The siren didn't seem very loud and after 10 minutes we surfaced and discovered that it had been for our neighboring town. Since we are sort of new to the "running for cover" I guess the distant sound of the siren didn't clue us in. Anyway it was a good drill and we were fine but I felt bad for waking and scaring the kids. Ariella I think just thought it was a game and was more interested in what snacks we were going to serve. Nehemiah made some disparaging remarks under his breath. Something to the affect of "this is a picture you won't see on the NBN website anytime soon". NBN being an organization that helps Jews move to Israel. We slept late because of it and I let the kids have sugar cereal. When Lital asked "are you giving us Frosted Flakes because of the bombs?" I wanted to cry. They get sugar cereal on Shabbat and I guess now when we've had to run to our mamad. That's a pretty strange message.
Last night they hit an apartment building in Rishon where I have my ulpan. One of my classmates lives right there and she said it was very loud. Her building is older and so she doesn't have a mamad. Today they blew up a bus in Tel Aviv. Now I know that I will more likely be run over by one of the senior citizens who like to ride golf carts around to get places (yes dad---there are scores of ahem 'older' gentleman playing chess in the park and I guess those who can't walk there like to ride in golf carts) but it is still very scary. I take 4 buses a day to get to my ulpan. It is unfathomable to me that if Mexico were lobbing bombs into California and then Mexicans started blowing up buses in Los Angeles that people would tell Californians to just "show restraint" and "make peace". It is impossible to make peace with an entity which does not recognize your right to exist. I would ask all dignitaries that are currently asking us to make peace if they would like to take the bus and how comfortable they would be doing so.
I have been asking neighbors, friends shopkeepers etc. what they think. Clearly a very informal poll but my man on the street thinks we should invade Gaza. They want to clear out the massive arsenals that they have. These opinions come from Israelis who have either served in the Army, are currently in reserves or have children in the Army so they definitely don't take these decisions lightly. After ulpan today I stopped at our local fish shop to get some salmon and the owners were asking how we were holding up and if we have family here. When I told them that we didn't have family they on the spot invited us to stay with them for Shabbat in Rehovot (nearby big city). She told me that they will become our family since we don't have any here. This also made me cry. It is the part of being here that so much feels like coming home. Times are really tough and scary but I know we will be fine. This is an old story.