Joint voices

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tisha B'Av - Deja Vu

Today is Tisha B'Av - the 9th day of the Jewish Av month. This is a holy date for Jews, marking the destruction of the Holy Temple and the exile of the Jews. The practicing Jews fast, and everything shuts down for the day.
I'm very secular, so these days don't do much for me - but the atmosphere is always different and somber and affects everyone. So maybe because of Tisha B'Av, maybe because of all the overwhelming new exposure we got here (visitors have doubled since yesterday), maybe because in the past 2 days I've uncomfortably felt like maybe my post in gone in a direction I didn't want it to go. I never meant to start spiralling down the one sided blame game too and I think maybe I have been, a little. So tonight I just wanna tell you about my day.

I woke up to miss a job interview. So I went back home. Bought a set of drawers for storage, and went to visit a friend in a shop I used to work in. Things were good there - no one from the staff has been drafted yet, and three Northerners were there buying a backpack for one of them who was going abroad. I also ran into a guy I went to high school with and haven't seen in ages. My friend told me her boyfriend was drafted, but he was going to refuse for moral reasons. He was unwilling to participate in the fight. My friend said it slightly bothered her - that he was refusing to serve at a time like this. I told her I thought he was brave, and that he would go to military jail for it. She said she wasn't worried, he had his ways to get out of things like that.
I went to sit on the beach for a while. Needed to have a day away from the news reports, from the blogging wars, from all the wars. To forget for a second, to breathe and recompose. I was there for an hour or so. The beach is always a good place for it, if you can ignore the helicopters going by all the time, and you do. You just get used to them. Shot that picture I posted earlier - a group of soldiers on a day leave stopped by the beach, in combat uniform.. a couple of them went into the sea for a swim and left their weapons to be guarded by their friends, and I just couldn't help but be overcome with the symbolism of that frame, so I had to shoot it. I don't know that I was allowed, but they didn't notice. That picture is such a metaphor for Israeli life, especially during this time.
I went home. Got a call from a friend I travelled with once, haven't spoken with him in 6 months. He is yet to be drafted - he said his soldiers (he is an officer) keep calling to ask to participate. He thinks this will be over in 2 weeks. I said I wasn't sure, and he called me a pessimist. I invited him to visit me sometime now his university exams are over and he's coming back to live at his parents' - I hope he'll make use of the invitation soon, I haven't seen him in ages. It was nice to hear from him.
Went to have a coffee afterwards with my flatmate and drop by the grocery store. Huge lines there, everything was closing early today. Got home. Watched a DVD. Logged on here and found some wonderful responses. Am grateful for them.
Logged on to the news sites - Ynet is stating "the return of the Security Belt". Got horrible deja vu from that name. Bad memories from high school days, when graduates from my school were dropping like flies in the "security belt", and the first days of my own army service, which were the last days of that belt. They were bloody days. That definition is cursed. This can't be good.
Finally caught up on the day's events. Or should I say the day's events caught up with me. Can't avoid 'em even when you try. Heavy day of fire today. Rocket range is growing further south. A father of two was killed by a katyusha while riding his bike. Immediately made me think of what Bash told me yesterday, that he went to get his bike fixed in expectance of gas shortage. He said it was not just the gas that was running out. Guys and bikes.

DEBKAFile is now reporting that the Syrian army is gathering at the border.


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