Wednesday, March 7, 2012

7.3.12 – Threats, real and perceived

It’s hard to hide from what’s going on in the news at the moment, but if you try really hard…well, you still can't. As has happened for the last few years, the Iranian nuclear threat has heightened, again, just in time for us Jews to draw parallels to the festival of Purim, when we celebrate our survival out of the hands of near annihilation from a Persian ruler who wished to wipe us off the face of the planet. Note: I love Jewish history because it repeats itself and is easily lent to topical blog posts.

Like many Anglo Israelis, I hold dual citizenship, as do my husband and son, which often starts discussions about “where to go if…” and then we don’t say the rest of the sentence, because it’s too horrible. I’m not 100% sure if it's horrible because of the sheer terror inspired by the thought of a nuclear attack, or even mentioning that and our children in the same breath, or even, pardon my idealism, the thought of skipping out on the Zionist dream. Whatever it is, we don’t say it. Like we don’t say Amalek, a rumored cousin of Haman, who is likely the however-many-times-removed great uncle of the presently ruling Iranian ass-clown who talks about our destruction over his morning hummus.

Jewish history aside, I also think about all the other mini and maxi threats that face me as a mum every day, like colds, allergies, SIDS, or possibly falling pregnant again in the next two minutes because my husband is shooting me a suggestive smile. Hell, I crumbled pretty easily in the delivery room when I, like many strong, beautiful, appropriately dilated women, perceived the threat that I was “ABOUT TO DIE GET ME THE DAMN EPIDURAL NOW.” With that in mind, what’s to say I wont be on the next flight out of here when, God forbid, a siren tolls?

The answer, I suppose, is simply being prepared for any scenario, which both parenthood and living in Israel force you into, whether you were like that before or not. You do your research and weigh up the options and make your next move from there. For example, when I was about seven months pregnant, I went on a hospital tour with the good folk from Pregnant in the City, an organization that holds English-speaking informational events and seminars, amongst other things, for expectant mothers in Tel Aviv. It was great; we saw the delivery rooms, the wards, what staff would be involved, we even checked out the baby hotel. All of this useful and powerful information notwithstanding, when it happens, you just go with it and do whatever you need to do to get through it, no matter what level of preparedness you have. Like the way I still check on my son umpteen times a night after he’s gone to sleep to see if he’s breathing; I know he’s fine but still, what if? What if his snotty nose is actually pneumonia? What if that tiny bump on his head is a tumor? What if I just calmed the hell down for moment. What if?

Then I stop and realize that every move I make is a weighted decision, and with each decision comes consequences, both good and bad. So yes, I do worry about Israel’s fragile existence and existential threats. But I also worry about him not wearing 100% cotton pants on his sensitive skin. I worry about the zealous nature of those in government; but I also worry about the upbringing I would give him if he weren’t one of the many ridiculously cute children in costume on the streets of Tel Aviv this morning. I worry. It’s my right as a Jew, as a mother, as a concerned citizen who is also an online news junkie. And that worry keeps me on my toes, keeps me sharp, helps me put my family’s needs at the forefront of everything I do. Which, as often happens by the end of a blog post, I realize is ok and afforded to me, no matter how annoying it might seem at the time. Above and beyond it all, the nation of Israel lives. Have a great holiday.

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