Life in a War Zone

As most of my readers know, I am currently in Israel.  For a country that is now engaged in a war on two fronts, in Gaza and Lebanon, life continues to be surprisingly normal.  I went SCUBA Diving in Egypt today, off the coast of the Sinai south of Eilat.  Just to show you how connected the world is, all day out on the boat we didn’t get any news…so I got the news of what was going on in Israel when I got back to Eilat and called my wife Lauri on my Israeli cell phone, when she filled me in on all the news she got off the internet.  It is indeed a connected world.

I am very concerned about the current situation, as are all Israelis I’ve spoken to.  Iran and Syria are also making aggressive noises.  There is a real possibility that things could get worse before they get better.  On the other hand, the Lebanese government says they are trying to arrange a cease fire and the return of the captured Israeli troops. 

Driving back from Eilat to Jerusalem, there is a period of time when about the only radio station you can pick up is "Radio Jordan" broadcasting in English from Amman.  Funny, Israel does NOT have a full time English language radio station despite the large population of English speakers.  That’s besides the point — the point being Radio Jordan reported that the King of Jordan condemned Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.  And said nothing about Lebanon’s killing three soldiers, capturing two, and shooting rockets at Israeli towns which started the whole thing.  I was really disturbed, although not surprised by this report considering the source.  Therefore, I was expecially pleased a few minutes ago when I read in Haaretz that Saudi Arabia blamed Hizbollah for starting the whole thing.  Huzzah!  An Arab government that actually states the truth and does something other than blame Israel in knee-jerk fashion.  And Jordan is the one we supposedly have much better relations with.  Go figure.

I’m used to being in "war zones."  When I arrived in Thailand in 1973 the government was fairly shortly thereafter overthrown (although peacefully, and they did that a lot there back then).  I was in Iran during the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 and was here when the Intifada broke out in 2000.  Given my track record, maybe the Jewish Agency should pay me NOT to make aliyah! 🙂  I will practice what our security advisor told us in Tehran…"keep a low profile!"   In this case, that means I’m not going to go to Safed for Shabbat this week…not that I was planning to anyway.

Reb Barry

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Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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