Monday, May 29, 2006


When I was growing up, like many children, I had this love hate relationship with fireworks. I loved the colors and the dazzling explosions that lit up the sky. At the same time the booms were terrifying and made me want to hide. In my experience, the Fourth of July was the major fireworks holiday. We'd celebrate our country's independence with barbecued chicken, watermelon and pound cake. When we were full, we'’d head out to see a fireworks display. Back then a little show was held at a local mall and a big production coordinated with symphonic accompaniment took place 45 minutes away in Charlotte. I remember sitting on the warm hood of our car in the mall parking lot vacillating between peeing in my pants and applauding at the show. I remember my dad parking on the side of the interstate in Charlotte and watching the fireworks shower down over the Charlotte skyline - the explosions reflected in the glass towers and the booms echoing in their canyons.

Israelis love fireworks. There are fireworks on all kinds of holidays. Sometimes when people get married here, part of the wedding ceremony includes a fireworks display. The first time I heard fireworks here, I was positive it was a pigua or suicide bomber. I couldn't see the display from the windows in my apartment. When I heard the explosions continuing, I just knew that we were under attack from someone - you pick the country or region...Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Palestine. When I didn'’t hear ambulances or sirens, I figured that it was ok.

People that have been in Israel longer than I have say that they get used to these things. Maybe I am more highly strung. When I hear fireworks here, my mind immediately goes to a dark place.– I imagine the worst even when I know it's a holiday. The joy of the holiday or occasion is tainted by this reaction. When will fireworks be happy sounds again?

You see, yesterday people IN THIS COUNTRY were directed by officials to go into their bomb shelters. (All apartments and buildings have concrete safe rooms for just these occasions. Municipalities have community bomb shelters in parks in neighborhoods throughout our cities.) Rockets landed across northern Israel and gunfire from Lebanon threatened Israeli border communities. Rockets landed in southern Israel and threatened Israeli communities.

Yesterday the Israeli Air Force bombed targets in Southern Lebanon.

When will fireworks be happy sounds again?


At 5/30/2006 7:21 AM, Anonymous Kari said...

I keep praying for Shalom.

At 5/30/2006 4:51 PM, Blogger Sam said...

I imagine I'll always associate the sound of a car backfiring with the sound of the man hitting the pavement when he jumped from a parking deck a few weeks ago. Sounds really do stick with me and stay associated with things for a long time.


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