26 of the Eighth Month 5768
Many of us in the Shomron (Samaria) have an emergency communications systems involving beepers with a display screen, at least those of us in the smaller towns. Our "divuhit"* (pictured left 12% of actual size), which hangs on the wall in the salon (living room), went off this afternoon. No big deal. It's just annoying, mostly because I have to get up and turn it off.
Since infiltrations by Arab marauders into our town are not so common these days, thanks to our guard dogs, and security patrols, the beeper is often used to inform us of parents day in the Kindergarten, youth group activities commencing any moment now, and if you were planning on going to so-and-so's wedding in B'nei Braq, then you had better get on the bus already, which is leaving with or without you.
So, as I was saying, the divuhit went off this afternoon. The message displayed was:
"Return to your normal routine. You may now leave your houses."
Um,...What?! Did I miss something? I was home all day. Where was the message telling us to stay inside in the first place?
I found this to be very disturbing, as this is the language used after a security alert has been investigated, and the situation has been rendered under control.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, it went off again. This time the message was:
"The message before last was sent out while there was a glitch in the system. Sorry.
And, no, the dispatcher is not one of our local security personnel. You guessed it. The dispatcher is attached to the army.
Look. These things happen. We like to think that we are pretty tough out here, and for the most part, we actually are. We are always cautious, but can also roll with the punches, which invariably come.
And so, I could not stop myself from seeing the humor in the situation, as a friend of mine reminded me the image of Gilda Radner's z"l character from Saturday Night Live, Emily Litella, saying, "Never mind."
It has been one of my goals to encourage Jews, in particular North American Jews, to make aliyah. I guess I am not doing a very good job of it right now. Am I?
I am not so sure. These little mishaps are part of the adventure called "life in Israel." Living in the middle of the Shomron is not for every one. Every town, city, and region in Israel has its own personality. You have to look around, and find the right place for you. And you have to understand that wherever you decide to live, you will experience some kind of minor mishaps from time to time.