Thoughts on Bombs and History

I woke up this morning at ten o’clock because I didn’t have an early class. On my way to 10:30 Land and the Bible, I heard several booms that seemed to come from sort of far away. They were loud enough for me to know that they were actually loud, but muffled enough for me to know that they were at least 35 or so miles away. I didn’t really think much about it; I figured it was just construction or something. But in History of Ancient Israel, Abner told us that those booms we heard were actually Israeli bombs being dropped on Gaza by Israeli planes breaking the sound barrier over the Moshav. I heard the planes the rest of the day, though the bombs subsided.

I thought it was really cool because I was experiencing history firsthand. I told this to my mother in a Skype chat, and she replied, not surprisingly “forgive me if I don’t agree.” I guess a lot of people back home might be concerned for me, but I kind of wish the Israelis would bomb a little more so I could hear it a bit better, or bomb on a clear night so maybe I could see the flickering lights on the dark blue evening horizon. That makes me think of one of my favorite novels, actually. Indulge me if you would.

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is about a man and his son making their way south through post-apocalyptic America. It’s one of those books you have to read once for the plot and a second time to really appreciate the beautiful writing style—admirably artistic with chilling, terse Hemingway-like minimalism. At one point the father has a flashback to when the world is being scorched by fire and all that is blue and green is turned to black and grey (I kind of think that America is destroyed by a nuclear holocaust in the book, but the nature of it doesn’t really matter to the story. In fact, the mysteriousness of the book is enriched by the unknown calamity that leaves the once-proud America in ashes). Anyway, he stands on his back porch and watches the distant cities burn. I don’t know if at the time he was thinking about the history of the moment—he was more likely thinking about his wife and the child she was about to deliver—but I guess I’m just trying really hard to make that little note about The Road relevant to the rest of this post.

I’ve got nothing.

I thought about it a lot too. If I had the book with me maybe I could have come up with something. I just wanted to use that little excuse to talk about a novel I love. How about another cool picture to reward you for reading that completely unrelated section?

So, for those of you who are worried for me, consider this: Yad Hashmonah (our “campus”) is 40-something miles away from Gaza. Hamas only has missiles that reach 20-something miles. That’s roughly half the required distance. Which means that even if they tried their darndest to bomb Yad-Hashmonah, the missiles would barely get halfway. Of course, I guess they could get bigger missiles from a large Islamic group (not Iran though, because one is Sunni and the other is Shiite and they hate each other and would never help the other). Then they could reach Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv and force the Israeli government to shut down David Ben-Gurion International Airport—the only international airport in Israel—and therefore trap me in a war-torn country within range of missiles stockpiled by crazy Muslims who hate Jews and hate Americans while living on a Moshav that has a lot of both.

At least I’d be experiencing history, yeah?

 

NOTE: All that I said at the end was with tongue firmly planted in cheek. That is not likely to happen, at least not in the next four months. So chill. I’m fine. 

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