Dan Savery Raz

How did we get here?

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

This isn’t a normal blog post.
It ain’t a poem either.
It’s not even prose.
It’s just what I can write, right now,
and God only knows,
what or why or how or how long?

Yesterday the sirens woke us up at 6:30 am,
though I like the dawn in Israel,
it feels like the most peaceful time,
for coffee, contemplation,
silent reading or meditation.
That’s until one of my three kids wakes up –
‘Dad, what’s for breakfast?’
Avocado on toast with a squeeze of lemon.
Could you get a more Israeli meal?
I mean, avocado and lemon trees grow naturally,
probably some of those people at the Nova party
were hiding under such fruit trees,
while the shooting and kidnapping
was happening all around them.

Then, this makes us all ask, ‘How did we get here?’

First, as a country – it’s easy to blame the lame leaders,
who can’t even pass an education budget,
let alone, guarantee our security.
Some say they were caught sleeping –
but how did all hell break loose in Fortress Israel
for a few hours in broad daylight?
Yes, it’s a time to get together as one,
but a patriot also knows
when things have gone wrong.
And things sure went wrong with this government.

Second, as an individual – life sure is confusing,
born in an English town called Rayleigh,
I somehow ended up as an Israeli.
As always my first thoughts were to return
to England’s ‘green and pleasant’ land.
Get on a plane, leave the insane to the insane.
But it’s not so simple with children and a home,
and a small, nervous dog and a bone.
So we drew pictures, cooked roast potatoes,
and made banana bread.
Though the thought of leaving never left my head.

But then we got a WhatsApp from my daughter’s scouts –
‘We’re collecting for the folks down south’.
Just three days before we had a clear out!
We had three bags of folded British clothes to give away.
Good timing, you could say.
But there’s never a good time for a war.
I drove to the ‘Shevet’ and tried to be kind.
A small, tiny act, but a giant shift in my mind.
I went feeling sorry for myself and planning an escape,
and returned thinking of how others could be so great.
This is the real spirit of togetherness –
not anger, not politics, not the military, not hate,
but a simple community that’s giving and selfless.

Though I live on one side of this crazy situation,
I hope for an end of suffering
for both Israelis and Palestinians.
It may sound naive and almost irrelevant,
yet I’m reminded of the ancient Buddhist chant –
Om mani padme hum’ –
‘May peace prevail on earth.’
And may it be soon.

About the Author
Dan Savery Raz is a Lonely Planet author, and has written for, Time Out & various websites. Born in England, he lives in Tel Aviv with his wife & children.
Related Topics
Related Posts