Because your little apartment/cave doesn’t let in the 21st century, you might end up getting asked if you speak English. And when you smile yes, you might get asked or told a whole story you don’t know how to process. And when you try to remember the details, they may go something like this:
She had an accent that took me just a bit to place, but she let me know even before I figured it out that she’s from Frankfurt. She was supposed to stay at Ascent here in Tzfat, but it was already closed for the night. She was then supposed to stay at someone else’s house that perhaps was on our alley, but she didn’t want to say anything because that would be lashon hara *(oh she was Jewish?!) and that wouldn’t be good.
She was supposed to be making Aliyah (so I guess she is Jewish) and she’s been spending time in some towns that I don’t know in the Golan (I think), but she was supposed to go check out a teaching job here tomorrow, so that’s why she was here. But there is so much trouble with the sirenas (she called them) in Yokne’am (I didn’t know!) and so much trouble with this milchamah**…She doesn’t know, she doesn’t know what to do, to be here, what to do.
So did she have a place to stay? Well, first she needed to go to the bathroom and then she’d be able to think.
Okay, dilemma for me. Do I open the door for her to use our bathroom or do I take her around the corner to the public bathroom?
“Oh, you don’t want to bother your husband, yes?”
Yes. That’s it.
“Wait and I’ll get my keys and I’ll take you to the public bathroom around the corner.”
So we went there. I waited for her to finish and then I asked her again if I could help her find somewhere to stay. She said she would go back to where she was and find someone else who she had in mind.
“Wouldn’t you rather go on the street and not down the alley in the dark?”
So I took her upstairs to the street and took leave.
I have to think it is crazy difficult for a single woman to come here on Aliyah now. It has to be crazy for anyone to come.
There was a family I know who was supposed to come today. They put it off for now; will reassess their dates asap. It’s not my place or way to say they’re wrong. I could easily see how many Israelis living in the states feeling very grateful that they have brought their families (or just themselves) out of harm’s way.
But just talk to the Jews in Paris. http://www.english.rfi.fr/france/20140715-hollande-meets-french-jewish-community-leader-after-synagogue-attacks or more here http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Our-world-The-popular-Palestinians-362943
Or oh! Seattle (and more! http://online.wsj.com/articles/bret-stephens-the-palestinian-blessing-1405380450?mod=WSJ_LatestHeadlines)
And after I came back to my little alley, I looked again at my emails and my Facebook. And felt like I have to do better tomorrow.