jill's letter from israel

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 July 22, 2006

Yesterday, we arrived home from our wonderful trip to the US for my Dad's birthday. I slept most of the way home, as usual, so I have been pretty functional. I managed to run out to the store, shop, cook for Shabbat, serve 'pre-Shabbat dinner' and unpack before Shabbat came in. Last night and today, cut off from the news, we all had plenty of time to relax and sleep. Jeff and I went to a luncheon in honor of Yona , a neighbor of ours from Pittsburgh who lives only a block away here in Rehovot.

The only signs we had of the on-going War in the North were the regular take-offs and landings of planes. We live near a major airforce base. On Shabbat, things are generally pretty quiet. Last night and today, we could hear the planes on a pretty regular basis.

It was only when we turned the news on after Shabbat that we learned that there had been 150 rocket attacks up North. Nahariyya, a sleepy beachside city, was badly hit. However, since people complied with the Army's request to stay in the shelters, injuries were minimal. Haifa and Kiryat Shemona also were attacked. Meanwhile, our troops are working, land, sea and air, to get this thing done the best way possible. The military gave a televised briefing right after Shabbat. On the Homefront, they are telling the residents of the North to stay in or close to ther shelters. Those of us who live further south in places like Nazareth and Afula, they are saying should stay close to shelter. As for the rest of us, they say we should be prepared to get to shelter quickly should we hear warning sirens.

Our house was built with a "safe room". It's a bomb shelter/sealed room. We use it as a library/computer room. We also have a phone there and a radio. Now that Kazzy is a Floridian, we'll have plenty of room in there if we need it. Even my karate school is in a bomb shelter. Someone went there last week and saw roaches so I have to call the city to spray. Under the current conditions, they'll probably be even more responsive than they usually are.

Tomorrow, I'll find out where I can donate blood and see what else I can do to help.

That's all for now, folks.

Jill Shames, Rehovot