Israeli children and artistic expression: A war story in pictures

Note: We did not ask our five-year-old to draw anything. We didn’t know what he had been up to when at around 7 this morning he came up to us holding a picture he drew.

Turns out, it’s not a story about a disabled boy who has divorced parents.

“Why are there two houses?”
“One is our house, and one is the miklat.”
“And which one is he going to?”
“The miklat. There is sirens.”
“Why is the sky black?”
“It’s night.”
“Who is this? Is it you?”
“I don’t know yet.”

“You see this? <points to yellow in the sky> I wanted so this will be a star because it’s night.”
“Oh yeah?”
“But now it’s a rocket.”

————————————————————

“This is me and you on a boat in the sea, and that’s <muffled, sounds like Abba> cracking open the sky.”

“That’s what? Abba?”

“No, labba.”

“What’s  labba?”

“Labba is טילים (missiles).”

————————————————————

“Hey, what’s that?”

“What?”

“That symbol you drew.”

“I dunno.”

“Where’d you see it?”

“On Bebe’s shirt.”

“It means shalom – peace.”

“I’m drawing an x on it.”

“Why?!”

“Because I want.”

Meat counter convo liz: So I guess I’m that person now

Standing at the meat counter in the local supermarket.

Guy to meat counter girl: “Yeah, everything is crazy, how are you doing?”

Meat counter girl: “It’s so scary!”

Me: “Hey, at least we know exactly when it’ll hit, it’s been evenings and that’s it.”

Guy: “It’ll be quiet till tonight, till they’ve eaten and organized after Ramadam fast.”

Me: orders chicken

Guy: [in english] “Maybe I’ll just go back”

Me: [taken by surprise] politely smiles

Guy: “You’re from the States?”

Me: “Yeah. You?”

Guy: “Yeah. I dunno. What is this? I think it’s time to just go back.”

Me: “What are you nuts?!”

Guy: “What do you mean, this life isn’t normal. This isn’t normal.”

Me: “What do you mean – America is crazy! Did you hear what just happened on July 4 weekend in Chicago?!”

Guy: “No…”

Me: “There were 82 people shot! 14 died!”

Guy: “Muslims?!”

Me: “No, nothing like that! Anybody! That’s the thing! Here we know our enemy, there it could be any crazy guy off the street!”

Guy: “Yeah, but this…”

Me: “No way, you couldn’t pay me… I’d rather know who my enemy is, we can prepare… There, everything is crime, anyone can take out a gun…”

And while we agreed in the end that perhaps, if we were to leave, Australia would be a fine choice…

…I couldn’t believe, with 100% meaning everything I said, without thinking about what I was saying, I had just been that person.

 

 

Never normal.

image

Living here is not normal.

Life here pushes through – the normal, the stubborn, the ups, the downs – the not normal, the horror, the grief, the methods, the madness.

Life here is limbo. Life here is business as usual. Life here is waiting. Life here is death.

Life here is moving on. Life here is no tear wasted. Life here is blessing god despite death. Life here is worshipping life.

Life here, after the worst is realized, is never normal again.

Life here will live on despite that.

ברוך דיין האמת.

What’s more complicated than kidnapped teens, baby heart surgery, and life in Israel?

Day 10.

My god. This country. What is more complicated than this goddamn country?

This is a news segment on Channel 10 [Hebrew] profiling a father of a Makor Chaim schoolmate of the two 16-year-old kidnapped boys. He is also Dr. Dudi Mishali, a 20-year Tel HaShomer baby heart surgeon. He opens the chests of infants to cure them of heart conditions.

He does this for any baby that comes through hospital doors. That includes Jewish babies, Israeli Arab babies, Palestinian Arab babies, refugee babies.

So the father of a schoolmate has to contend with the fact that he’s now operating on the 4 month old of Arab Hevron residents while his son’s schoolmates are likely being held captive – assumed alive – somewhere in the very same area.

The parents are terrified of what will be with their baby. The parents are… parents. Like Dudi. Like the three sets of parents waiting to hear the fate of their kidnapped children.

Of course he operates. Of course he goes about his business. Of course it tears him apart that this is the way he has to work right now.

Who – who – can look at a child and not save his life?

But he, and his wife, raise painful points, torturous questions.

This video is uncomfortable.

It’s kind of just life here at the worst of times.

Watch the video.

When you end up in the girls’ Purim costume aisle in Bet Shemesh

Mom of the year spent a couple hours today exploring the Purim costume scene in Bet Shemesh.

I never really did that before because -

a. my oldest has wanted to be Mordechai HaYehudi for the last two years and bathrobe + makeup beard + paper crown = score!

b. I never had that much time anyway.

Yes, I learned a lot today.

  1. I learned that Israeli Purim costume options are both endless and extremely limited.
  2. I learned that I am never ever going to pay NIS 170 for a manufactured version of the costume my son wants and I’m going to make it from scratch and that’s that, kids (he’s getting it for around NIS 55 AND he gets to keep comfy shirt and sweats after).
  3. I learned that if that freicha in the aisle next to me were to whine the word ‘zombie’ one more time I was going to kick her in the shins. Even her son looked like he would take a bite out of her.

Most of all, I learned that not every Israeli Purim costume for little girls is sexy. In fact, in Bet Shemesh, they can go a totally different route…

1. The Matriarch

Quick, who’s your favorite matriarch? Is it Rachel? I bet it’s Rachel.

Rachel Imeinu Purim costume

Get your elaborate Rachel costume for only NIS 99.99, complete with camel imagery, as appropriate! Torah inside jokes!

2. The Other One

Yeah, I hear ya. Everyone and their mother is gonna be Rachel this year. So how about…

Rivka Purim Costume

Aw, you thought I’d say Leah? Nah, not Leah. Though the makeup could have been fun.

3. The Oddly Specific

Moving away from biblical female Purim costumes based on puffy gowns I’m pretty sure didn’t exist back then… and moving towards puffy gowns that exist for the sake of existing, and then some.

SpongeBob Princess

Hebrew-challenged? Disturbingly weird fifteen-year-old Nickelodeon cartoon challenged? That costume is: SpongeBob. Princess.

I officially can’t.

4. The Classic

And, if none of these options fit your daughter’s wild underage girlish fantasy, you can always go with – but of course – literally, ‘naughty kitten’… in a toddler size.

Naughty kitten Purim costume for girls

And don’t get me started on the sexy Hello Kitty costume line for grown women.

Workshop in Advanced Citizenship

There’s nothing to make you feel more a part of a society’s special mosaic than to find yourself arriving at the sealed entrance of the Unemployment Office, joining a small mob of people across all of Israeli demographics, all staring at the printout sloppily taped to the heavy doors…

…that the ministry is on strike.

Snow in Tzur Hadassah: Who said this isn’t Switzerland? [PHOTOS]

There’s this inside joke here… sometime a couple years ago they started hanging hopeful signs around garbage points in Tzur Hadassah: If no one made it dirty, this could be like Switzerland. 

After four days of heavy snow, warm clothes, sledding, and beautiful views… Well, I’d have to say we came pretty freakin close for the Middle East.

[More photos from day 1-3 here]

The view from my ‘front yard’ – only last week it was cleared of the forest to make way for new construction (sigh). So it allowed a whole new snow-filled view:

Soon I found the Yetti…

A long long time ago… in another life… I got a free giant boogie board at a tech conference (?!). Never touched it… until now.

The whole view… The hills are Gush Etzion, facing Neve Daniel area. The buildings are Beitar Illit. The snow is ours. (Click to enlarge)

The supermarket was rightfully bare this morning. And then the Tnuva truck pulled up. Never was so excited to see a Tnuva truck…

Later we went out and surveyed some local damage – seems every other tree took a toll. Our garbage collection area collapsed. And… so did our building, actually.

Another new view… sun setting and moon rising over the outlook towards Beitar Illit. (Click to enlarge)

Climbed up the nature walk to check out, in Koala’s words, the ‘sun rainbow.’

 Hang in there, Tzur Hadassah, European snow resort town. (Click to enlarge)

UPDATED:

Day 5, morning: Nope, it’s not all a dream.

 

Wishing the snowman farewell…

More photos!