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Of False Alarms, Horns, and Code Reds

26 Feb
Español: Uno alarma de incendio Wheelock MT-24...

Photographed by Ben Schumin . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Already in this space I have documented the Israeli attitude of “we know best” and the chutzpa that is ingrained in most members of society. Perhaps socially people are invested in each other in a way that is not found elsewhere, which is why parents receive advice about their children from strangers, the next fellow in line at the bank asks if you have withdrawn enough money, and the post office incident earlier this year. What I still do not understand however, is that why when the fire alarm goes off do Israelis continue their activities? Shouldn’t they be concerned about each other, why does the post office chutzpa transfer to evacuating a potentially burning building? Oh right, Israelis know if there is actually a fire or not.

Well documented were the sirens that sounded in November as Israel scurried for cover during Operation Pillar of Defense. With Code Red sirens sounding regularly, you might think that there is a certain sensitivity to such alarms. Well, we recently had a test of the Code Red system, which was apparently was intended for educational institutions. I am not entirely sure what that means since the sound waves generally carry to a variety of institutions, but it was no doubt an important test. When the alarm sounded, I was in class in yeshiva, we had no clue whether or not it was a drill so we headed for a shielded area, where upon we accessed the internet via our 3G, and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was indeed a test. Meanwhile in the beit midrash, nobody moved, they knew better, they were also mostly all Israelis at that point (most of the Anglos were in class). Coincidence? I think not!

Car horns! Come on! It’s almost like when a car purchase is made in this country that the first, and maybe only, part of the car that is tested is the horn. Dear Israeli Brothers and Sisters, if traffic is jammed, laying on the horn for a minute or more will not cause any vehicles to miraculously begin moving! Granted, honking is probably better than other expressions of road rage, like fire arm usage and throwing tacks at tires. Nevertheless here is the enduring question, what is it about these loud noises, some of which could be indicative of impending danger, that Israelis seem to know what’s really going on?

Snow in Israel!

9 Jan
The boys hurling snowballs!

The boys hurling snowballs.

 Snowball fight begins during lunch.

Snowball fight during lunch.

The main entrance to the Beit Midrash building.

The main entrance to the Beit Midrash building.