No Such Thing as Returning to ‘Normal’

Stand for Israel  |  November 15, 2019

Peimot Parent-Child Center - Gaza Kibbutz Nahal Oz

Writing at the Times of Israel, Jacob Magid explains what it’s like to live on a kibbutz (farming community) near the Gaza border after the latest rocket attack in Israel earlier this week. They know that the next round of violence may happen at any moment, but they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but the Holy Land:

During two days of fighting, sirens were a near-constant fixture in Nahal Oz, a frequent target of rocket and mortar fire. Then on Thursday, it suddenly stopped.

“You can’t make a switch to normalcy so quickly. It’s impossible to turn 180 degrees just like that,” said kibbutz spokesman Daniel Rahamim. “What’s more, we’re returning to normalcy in a context that’s not normal because we know that this quiet is only temporary.” …

“My daughter’s only 5-years-old, so this whole thing is a kind of adventure for her,” explained Oren-Denenberg. “There’s no school and there aren’t any rules. We can’t tell her, ‘Only 30 more minutes of screen time,’ because what else can she do [in the shelter]?”

The challenge of readjusting the family’s sleeping patterns is just another reason why he said the return to normalcy is not instantaneous for life on a kibbutz.

“It takes a couple of days. Luckily we have a weekend to recuperate,” he said. “You’re at the peak of alertness during all of the sirens and explosions, but when the quiet eventually arrives, the exhaustion takes over.”

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