Well, I’ve started my third week back in Israel, and my second week at work. What is life like?
Hot! Humid! Oh, but I’m guessing you want to know more about the everyday stuff. My roommate’s name is Karin; she if finishing up her BA in Hebrew Studies, and is planning on marrying in March. We live in a typical older apartment on what is called the “first” floor in Israel, though in the US it would be the second floor. No elevator, 30 steps down and up at least once a day, if not more.
We live on top of a neighborhood pizza parlor and hair dresser, and only share one wall (the living room) with another apartment, so it is quiet compared to other apartments I’ve stayed in. The living/dining area is large and opens to a porch (merpesset) which we close with shutters (trissim) at night for privacy. The kitchen is the width of a corridor and designed as an afterthought with huge windows (which you read about in my previous post). My bedroom is creatively designed with a whole in the wall for a non-existent window facing the kitchen. Curtains have made this look very nice though, and they remain open most of the time to let air in from the kitchen windows.
I’ve noticed a raven and two pigeons always sitting on the electric lines outside the window, every morning. Not a few cats roam the gardens at ground level.
So a typical day is get up, quiet time, breakfast, wish a good morning to the raven and pigeons, walk to work, say hi to cats, wipe the sweat off my face once I get to work, find something to do at work, lunch at work, find more something to do at work, walk home, climb 30 stairs, wipe the sweat off my face, relax, answer email, read, fiddle in kitchen for a light lunch, wipe the sweat off my face, and then to sleep. Take the bus sometimes to visit friends, walk to the beach to go swimming, or pop over to a supermarket next door to get groceries or other household items.
But another aspect of life in Israel is how closely glued we all are to the news. Some people listen to the radio at work, others wait ’till later… but the minute something happens, we all know very quickly. And so another part of daily life here is wondering if there has been or will be another terror attack, wondering how the wounded from the last attack are doing, and begin thankful that this time the terrorists did not get someone I knew or known to someone I know.
Working in a hospital I am even more aware of these things than I usually am. An email to all employees reminds us to be aware of the heightened security threats and to be sure we know our assigned posts in the event of an emergency. (I don’t have an assigned post, hopefully won’t need to have one…).
Another ever present reminder of the situation in which we Israelis live day-by-day is the construction project here at Rambam hospital. A huge underground parking area is being built, but with a double purpose. Once completed, Rambam Hospital will have a parking lot “which in times of emergency will turn into an underground hospital: the largest protected subterranean medical center anywhere on the planet” (see Rambam Hospital’s website http://tinyurl.com/3bbo6gm). No one builds that kind of protected area unless there is good reason to believe it will be needed.
Yet, for the most part, we are more absorbed with concerns of daily living: work, shopping, visiting friends, life as usual. As it was in the days of Noah…
And so this, perhaps, gives you yet another idea of how to pray for Israel and her people. Pray that God will help us all to seek that which is most important, our God, and that we would, in finding Him, trust Him for our safety and protection. While the efforts of this hospital are quite admirable, those efforts will only save bodies; pray for the many souls in Israel, that they too be saved.