Tzfat on Target
by Dinka Kumer
In my first three decades, I never heard a real explosion up close...or
lived in a war zone. That was until Thursday, July 13, 2006.
Bombing was faint as I made my way to work after running errands. The
Hezbollah was busy - again - attacking northern border towns. It was "old
news" and sadly did little to faze most. Surprisingly, smoke from
missile fire rising off nearby Mt. Meron raised little alarm.
Around 2 p.m., my co-Tzfatians and I were shocked to discover that our
small town of 20,000 was next on the terrorist target list. Two distinct
booms were followed by an even louder whoosh and explosion from extremely
close proximity. Shaking in fear, I tried to find my bearings, unsure
what to do next.
My employer got a call that a rocket landed adjacent to his house and
the area was up in flames. He dashed out in a panic to go save his family
(they are all safe and well, thank G-d).
Pandemonium followed as people tried to call their families, find out
where the bombs struck, and make their anxious way home. Within moments
the offices cleared out, everyone in a frightened daze.
I do not own a car, and all bus and taxi services had frozen in the ensuing
mayhem, but I had to get home. I began walking and saw windows shattered
from the blast, and pieces of asphalt strewn around, having flown tens
of feet from the blast's impact. Cops (and the omni-present media) were
everywhere. Thanks to the kindness of two strangers, I hitched my way
to find my husband and children and a few dozen neighbors huddled in the
bomb shelter in the basement of my apartment building.
This was but the dramatic beginning of several days of bombing-which
has still yet to end. I have not kept count of all the bombs I have heard
fall. It's in the several hundreds. Though most are distant, three exploded
within a two minute walk from my house.
They shook my home, rattled the windows, and sent my family frantically
running time and again to the "safe room" we set up in a kids'
bedroom. We all sleep wall-to-wall in that same room since the war's start,
so the children won't be afraid, and so we will be together "just
So my innocence of explosion-less three decades has been lost to my children,
the oldest of whom is still only six and a half. The slightest "bump"
makes them jump in fear thinking it's another "boom"; and my
not-yet-three year old made up a "happy" tune called, "We
don't have a bomb
A block away from my home, my day-care babysitter's apartment complex
was bombed and caught fire. She spent her day in my house while the fire
was extinguished and the bomb was defused. It took hours since the missile
was composed of fifty mini-bombs each meant to maximize the destruction
(and they miraculously did not go off!). My sitter distracted herself
from the trauma by playing with my bored children who have cabin fever
after days of being cooped up at home.
Mrs. Nechama-Dina ("Dinka") Kumer has worked at Ascent for
many years as Special Projects manager. This article was originally written
for and posted on AskMoses.com