posted Sunday, 14 January 2007
This shabbos was unbelievable. We landed in sderot a few hours before shabbos (as opposed to the usual 5 minutes before shkia landing)and all was quiet and peaceful. The birds were chirping, the breeze was blowing, and the occasional gunshots from the neareby gaza strip made it a picture perfect moment. We went to the place we were staying at (one of the hesder yeshivot in sderot) and were shmoozing with the guys there for about 10 minutes, when I decided that exploring sderot would be a good idea. We had walked about half way out of the parking lot when we heard the sound of a loudspeaker being activated. (you know:crackle frizzle crackle) Then we hear a very loud computerized female voice saying "tzeva edom tzeva edom" on repeat. The problem was that it was done in the tone of voice you would expect someone to say "its raining outside, its raining outside" so my initial reaction was that this was some sort of broken ram kol (one of those advertising loudspeakers, that most people throw shoes at). But then we saw the guys we were just chatting with taking cover so we turned and ran into the yeshivas bomb shelter. You've only got about 15-20 seconds from when the siren goes till the rocket hits, and we were just entering when we heard the loud boom of the rocket going off. It was awesome. We ran out to look, but the smoke was in the distance which meant that it was a pretty far miss. Then we heard the deeper lower booms of the army shelling the rocket launching place. We didnt end up walking around.
Shabbos afternoon we walked all around sderot. We saw some houses that were destroyed by kassems.One right around the corner from where we were sleeping. Its amazing how much damage a relatively small rocket can do. (its only about 5 feet long, but its loaded with explosives and shrapnel that can shoot real far from where it lands) Then we walked to gaza. Right up to the border. It took a while but it was worth it. We almost got killed! Not by terrorists,but by a herd of stampeding cattle. It would've been real funny if I would've made it all the way to gaza but been killed by a thousand pound cow. I wasnt able to get any kassems, not even a piece of one. There were some little kids who we met in the empty fields between sderot and gaza, who hang out there, when a siren sounds they hit the dirt and if they survive they run real fast and bring the kassem home. So we wouldve had to beat them and the army if we wanted to get it before they did.(I think the kids would've been the harder part) I did get a piece of the house around the corner from us that was destroyed. Its now hanging on the wall in my kitchen as a constant reminder. (I'm not sure for what yet, but as long as I remember everyhing should be ok)