Monday, August 07, 2006

[moderator] from Edyth, our 80-something librarian, tzdekka lady, community organizer, and General in charge of Tzfat's english-speaking community.

"This is being written from home, a place which I visit from time to time.
The library has become my real residence as I open it at 9 a.m. and stay down there till the next morning.
We sleep in the library storeroom which is equipped with a (very very hard) couch and enough room for my neighbor Shoshana to put down a mattress.

Surprisingly enough, people come to the library. There are bits and pieces of relative quiet between rockets and sirens so people come in to get a book, a magazine, a tape, a video - whatever. And they sometimes sit down and put a piece into my jigsaw puzzle and chat - a way to relieve some tension.

Many people have left - and those who are here manage to flee for a weekend or a 2-day break from the pressures. Some are returning as it is just too hard to be a guest, to buy food and other essentials away from home, etc. Those who stay here are often worried about family members who left and family pets are being looked after and gardens are being
looked after here and there, etc.

My neighbor Shoshana with 8 children - all married and most with large families - hardly gets off the phone in her concern for where the children can best find security...
One child with 4 little ones has returned to Safed and is staying with Shoshana since there is no shelter near their own home.

The lone Russian woman in our building was in a very bad situation till Shoshana shamed the social workers into coming to her aid - and till Shoshana made sure meals are brought to the woman. In the first days, such lone individuals were not cared for but as time went on, police, soldiers and city representatives actually have rung doorbells and made sure all are taken care of.

The funeral for Becky's husband came on the day of relative quiet so we managed even shiva calls... She and her sons who are here from the US and Australia do not go to a shelter but have a safe (?) corner in their apt.

That's the best version I can give you of what happens here. I send a "daily report" to about 50 people and I am posting you one of them - from July 24 - to see what I am feeling.


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