Thursday night my wife's nephew got married to a wonderful young lady, who lives in Kibbutz Saad. The wedding was in the kibbutz, and our family was invited to spend Shabbat there.
Kibbutz Saad was founded in 1947 by German orthodox Jews; it is one of the oldest religious kibbutzim in Israel. During the 1948 war it relocated to the other side of the road, and over the years, it became known for its produce, especially its carrots. My nephew's bride's grandfather was a founding member of the kibbutz and still lives there. Her father is one of the kibbutz leaders; her mother is a noted orthodox feminist (No, that is not an oxymoron, though everything is relative.)
My family was a bit nervous about going to the wedding. After all, Saad is within the range of Kassam rockets and mortal shells from Gaza, and has been shelled quite a number of times over the last seven years. On Friday morning, after the wedding, 4 mortar shells fell in the area, 1 in Kibbutz Kfar Azza, around a kilometer away. We weren't at Saad at the time, but two of our children were, and they heard the big boom. (There is an article in today's YNET about folks from Kfar Azza leaving the kibbutz for the Shavuot holiday, which starts Sunday night; the kibbutz is about a kilometer from Saad. Read about it here.) If you are in Gaza, and you are firing rockets, it makes more sense to aim at Kfar Azza, since it is closer. But they often miss. Everybody knows about Sderot, since that town is in the news all the time, but the firing is not just against Sderot. On Friday three other shells fell in the area around, doing no serious damage; the day before an Israeli was killed.
Of course, it is insane that the "border war" – really, a war of our indiscriminate shelling of civilians vs. their indiscriminate shelling of civilians, continues unabated for years. I am not going to point fingers in this post, although readers know where I would point. People on both sides of the border are psychologically rattled, although, let's face it, the Gazans' suffering is incomparable to that of the Israelis by any measure. But it is no picnic for the Israelis within rocket range.
We came, held our breath and left. When we got out of range, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. I can imagine what it would be like to live under constant threat of having a mortal shell land on your house. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in Gaza where, in addition, to all the other daily problems of scarcity of food, polluted water, unemployment that is a result of the Israel's open-ended siege, one also has to live in constant fear not only of rockets and mortar shells, but helicopter shooting, planes, tanks, etc. I am told that people can adapt to the most horrible situations. But it is still incomprehensible.