"Ascent and the Terrorist War from Lebanon"

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 in case."

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

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