Friday, December 15, 2006

The Good and the Bad

Tonight, the first night of Hanukkah, we and some friends got together and celebrated an early Christmas. The pre-Christmas meal consisted of chili and macaroni & cheese. Being neither traditionally Christmas foods nor traditionally kosher (for these parts) we enjoyed the fact that the food was warm, if nothing else. The entertainment was relegated to the Christmas story being read in 3 languages while our small children dressed up as the characters. I expected the worst but everyone behaved well, standing glassy-eyed as the story was read. Although no acting was performed (despite the rehearsals), no meltdowns occurred and Joseph didn't punch out Mary or the other angels. Who says prayers aren't answered anymore?

On the way back home the wife and I were discussing the unusually crowded highway for a Shabbat evening in Tel Aviv. As we neared home we came upon an accident that apparently just happened no more than a minute or two before. We stopped at the stoplight where it happened and, over in one of the cars that was in the accident, saw a man slouched over half-way out of his window looking rather dead. In our surprise we accidentally alerted the kids to the scene (bad parents!) and, fortunately the light turned green and we sped away hoping that the images we saw weren't seared into their minds. Actually, we don't know if they saw anything or if what they saw registered in their little minds because there were no questions or comments (which, if you have kids, you know would be unending).

While terrorism is a concern here, even when things are bad traffic fatalities per year are 2-4 times more than fatalities from terrorism. I read somewhere that there are significantly more traffic fatalities the day after a terror attack. Why? They are not sure, but if you have ever driven here you'd know that Israeli drivers have a lot on their minds - driving not often being one of them.

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