Waiting and Praying
I am settling into my refugee status at my friend's parents home in Jerusalem. I was a bit stressed this morning after getting the news of the situtation from my friend in Haifa and the charge to stay put, especially when hearing sirens and chaos in the background during our mobile phone conversation as she was fleeing her aparatment to the safe room at a friend's house. I have been told the katush rockets that Hezbollahs is using are not as dangerous as compared with other rockets. Most of the people who have been killed have been the result of direct hits and they say they have a loud scream when they are coming your way so you can hear them coming and have at least 5 seconds to respond, which is somewhat comforting. People in Haifa have been instructed to stay in doors, and they say a siren will sounds if other bombs fall and then you will have 1 minute to get to a safe room. Because Israel has a citizenry where most peopel have served in the military they are a bit more matter of fact about the conflict and take things in stride, the idea expressed by several I have spoken to is that we have been here before, we know how to respond. But still from what I hear Haifa is at a bit of a stand still.
I think the not knowing of what is happening is the hardest part. I have been listening to the news reports in Hebrew which give me a sense of what is going on, but as my hebrew is not that good I have had to rely on reports from the Jerusalem Post & Haaretz online to get the spedific details. As far as I can tell no new bombs have hit Haifa since this morning. The few profs I have had contact with this morning that were at the University when all this came down said things are fine there and that the Univ has been unaffected, except for a sense of ugency about it all. Everyone that emailed me said for me to stay put. So who know how long I will be here, only the days ahead will tell. Boy, I wish I had packed more underware for my weekend away.
On a personal note this sure does throw a wrench in my survey data collection and I am guessing my university in the USA is going to be a bit hesitant about letting me come back next year for the follow-up study which is a bummer!
Despite this all I have used my extra time here to connect with a few Hebrew Univ folks, and had a great meeting with Menahem Blondheim today talking about Orthodox Judism and the Media. I learned a lot about the structure of Orthodox synagogues in Israel, like the fact that the sermon does not play a significant role and sermon like commentary shows up in special synaoguge pamplets or newspapers instead. WIll blog more about this in my other blog When religion Meets New Media.
Please keep praying for the peace in Israel and widsom for those in goverment/the military during this time.