Working under bombardment


In this recent outbreak of Middle East violence, I have found myself working and living in areas under heavy bombardment.

I want to share with  readers some of these experiences, personal and work related.

1) Between missiles, life goes on. People walk or run to shelters, boom, and then back to work. There is constant smsing-texting and phone calls in order to ensure that friends and family members are ok, but multi tasking via messaging is part of life in Israel in any case.

2) One’s political view deeply impacts how the present conflict is viewed. The right wing sees the conflict as an inevitable outbreak in a one hundred year old conflict; the left believes that the present government (and those before) have frittered away opportunities that may have prevented this present round of violence.

Political issues are very rarely discussed, because politics tears apart relationships, and detract from camaraderie which develops under fire.

3) A sense of perspective creeps into life. When life can end with the next hit, how important is this work related issue that I am dealing with?

4) For some, one’s internal emotional world is calmer because the enemy is exogenic. As missiles pour down on your village and work place, one does not really need more noise than what rains down.

5) Schedules constantly changes.Work gets cancelled, rescheduled and decisions get “pushed out” till “this is all over”. Yet this does not phase anyone.

6) There is an amazing defense  mechanism: “nothing will happen to me”. Even more anxious people (like myself) adapt this defense mechanism and, it really works well. Apparently,  the more serious the threat is, the easier it is to be positive.

And a word of thanks to the many people who have asked me how I am doing.

Follow me @AllonShevat



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10 thoughts on “Working under bombardment

  1. Very seriously, my heart and my mind are with you these days.

    If I were you I would leave town.

    One needs to take all precautions preventing a disaster in one’s close life.

    You have an important role to play in life. if you have your perspective.

    Kindly protect yourself and take care of yourself.

    I do not believe in war. I am a conscientious objector from the 60s.

  2. I thought I would share with you all a portion of what I sent to Allon:

    We humans have this huge brain and one thing this huge brain is capable of is making up stories and then amassing tons of facts to prove our stories right while other huge human brains amass tons of related facts to prove their stories right and make others’ stories wrong. Then each clan of huge human brains cling to his stories. When that happens in organizations, as it is occurring in Israel, the stories justify hate, they provide meaning where there is no real meaning exists, they ennoble us over others, they even make pain and loss endurable and durable. Each clan then holds countervailing myths and stories that they cling to because:
    they comfort them
    they justify in hating the other clan
    they ennoble them over others
    they make pain and loss both endurable and durable.

    Behind this clinging of stories lie, in my view, the human response to uncertainty. For possibilities to be possible, human beings require to be ready to loose the self-serving reasons to cling on to the merits of their stories. When I say that not all possibilities are possible, I am neither cynical nor resigned; I am claiming that I am being reasonable and that myths are unreasonable.

  3. Allon, can you please explain (between two missiles) how you can reach an almost meditative state while missiles pour down while sharing you are an anxious man!? I have hard time to imagine you anxious!!! Take care of yourself.

    • Patrick
      Did u know that many people develop insomnia in such times but many insomniacs sleep better in times like this.
      I am a so so sleeper BUT sleep now like a log! Mais oui!

  4. I am glad that you are OK. Your posts from the “front” always give me the opportunity to reflect on life in general.


  5. Even in this you provide insight that is rare and important.
    Glad you are ok – but am always concerned for you and your family’s safety.

  6. O worry about all of my friends & contacts over there, Allon. But I would still make aliyah if I could find a job there.

    I’ve just shared this on Facebook, & am going to try to figure out how to send it to my synagogue’s email list.

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