Friday, September 21, 2007

Yom Kippur, 2007

At 11 am on October 5th 1973 I was sitting in a bus, lazily half-listening to the news on the driver's radio. I don't remember the first items, but the third or fourth mentioned that there was some tension with the Syrians. I even remember precisely where the bus was, and what I was looking at.

The reason I remember is that at ten to two the next afternoon, home for a couple of hours from the synagogue that day of Yom Kippur, when the sirens suddenly went off, I immediately recalled the item on the news and knew that the siren was serious.

Most of the intervening years I've lived elsewhere, but now I'm back in the same part of Jerusalem. This morning, close to 11 o'clock, I walked by the same spot. The gray asphalt of the sidewalk has in the meantime been replaced with reddish bricks. Fidel Castro still clings to life but communism is dead. The bus route has been repeatedly re-numbered, so that what was once number 15, then 6, is now 13.The youngest of my children is a few years older than I was on that morning. On page two of Haaretz an item of secondary importance tells of tension with Syria.

May we have a peaceful year.

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