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Saturday, October 4, 2003

On The Eve of Yom Kippur

Actually I was waiting for this day. I live in Tel-Aviv, next to a six-lane road leading to all the northern bedroom neighborhood and cities.



Yom Kippur is the only day when this Sambbatyon, noisy river of cars and pollution, stops still as if enchanted.



The only day when all the roads are free for pedestrians and bicycles.



Everybody is on the street, walking, meeting friends and enemies, all the people who throughout the year hide in their apartments and cars come out of their confinement…



It's Fall, when you don't need any air conditioning.

Pleasantly cool, especially in the evening.



The youngsters don't go to sleep at all, as if to savor every minute, and so do most of the adults, except the ones who fast, a minority in my mostly secular neighborhood.

A community festival.



Now, with the Internet, we don't even miss the silenced radio.

No more the feeling of being cut from our lifeline in this insane climate.



Another Yom Kippur.



Thirty years ago I was writing in a friend's room, lent to me as he went to spent the day with his family.



There was some baffling traffic on the road. I didn't know yet that those were men rushing to their units.

Then all of a sudden I heard The Alarm.



Like in the 2nd WW.

As in 1967 for a short while.



I ran out and all the way to my home.



This is my recurring memory from that day...



Say. Yom Kippur, and all I see is myself running, feeling it takes forever and I might not ever reach home and family in time.



Thirty years to the day later, and still violence surprises us.

One can never get used to death and sorrow.



Today terror came to visit the northern city of Haiffa.



Statistics:

The Maxim restaurant, owned by an Israeli Jew and an Israeli Palestinian.

Of the 19 murdered, four are Arabs.

A whole family erased. Grandmother, father, wife, two kids.

A couple married only a week ago.

At least four children.

More than fifty people wounded, six of them in critical condition.



It's almost 03:00 am and the open radio gives voice to many...

to kill or not to kill Araffat

Then what?

Hunt them down!

Then what?

Build the wall!

Then what?




The suicide bomber was a woman.

29 years old.

A lawyer.

Said to come avenge the killing of her two brothers a few months ago.



Will the death of all these innocent children and parents bring her brothers back to life...

Will it prevent the death of more brothers and by chance some innocent children...

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