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PeGuah! A word no Jew in Israel likes to hear.
PeGuah! Every one asks: Where? What?
Works slows down. People congregate around the radios. Less aggressive, more understanding. A PeGuah. Not again!
Tell me, you heard that there was a PeGuah? What happened?
News starts to drift in slowly. The announcer on the radio speaks with a heavy slow and sad voice. We've heard this tone before. Slowly, the news comes in. At first it's not clear. But we all listen, silently hoping and praying. It's a small country. It's hard to find something that happens where we don't know some one who knows some one.
Two years ago, my cousin was on a bus that was blown up. He saw his soul go up above the bus. He remembers looking down on the scene from up in the air. Moments later, the pain. His hair and clothes burnt on him. Pieces of other less fortunate fellow Jews on him. Picking off an arm and trying to exit the bus. Helping some one in a worse state, a lady who lost, well it's not pleasant to relate.
The cameras, the police, everyone.
The rest of us wondering. Who do we know. Let's hope, let's pray.
It's been a hard end of the year for us living in Israel. Too many killed and the ones injured - it's not pleasant. See them trying to reconstruct a life with out a limb. Or some times worse.
Then the stories. Avraham was there. He went into a store a minute before and it was a miracle that he is back with his family. But the trauma of seeing it. The blood and pieces of people amongst the wreckage.
We hear about the man with the shoe store. No we didn't know his name. But it's a small country. Not that many people. Yes, we remember him. He stood outside of his store for a moment and now he isn't with his family anymore.
And the next day we see the pictures in the newspaper. The announcements of the funerals. Mixed with that is the stories of those that miraculously were spared. And they wonder - and they say - why us? God have mercy on your people!
But we continue. Tomorrow we go to work just like yesterday. But now the names and the stories come out. A young father, leaves a young wife and children.
It's not always pleasant living in Israel, it's hard, but it's ours. G-d gave it to us and our blood is in it and that's really all we have.
from the October 1997 Edition of the Jewish Magazine