That Damn Roller-coaster

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that somewhere during Elie’s service, I hit on the idea that having children in the army was like being on a roller-coaster. You’re cruising along, feeling fine…and then without warning, the bottom drops out and you’re falling in terror. Sometimes, you know the fall is going to come, and still it is bad. Sometimes, you don’t have a clue – and worse, you even think things are fine.

No, nothing serious – everyone is fine, but I felt like I was a bit on the roller-coaster this morning as I drove into Jerusalem with Shmulik. Chalk it up to not enough sleep because I was working late…chalk it up to fate. I don’t even remember how the conversation started.

Last night, Shmulik was on the job. He and Elie are both working as security guards for a local company. There are two in Maale Adumim – the one they work for is the smaller company. The larger one won the bid for managing the city entrances and the schools, while Elie and Shmulik’s company handles several places inside the city. In the last few weeks, three security guards have been attacked by Arabs in Maale Adumim. It took me too much time and not a little bit of panic to get through Shmulik’s explanation to understand we were talking about guards on the outer perimeters.

Three times, Arabs have come up and as they approached, drawn a knife to stab the guards. The first time, the guard was stabbed in the neck, but only lightly wounded. The Arab ran off but apparently was later caught. The second time, another Arab was dumb enough to attack a guard who is a champion in martial arts. In seconds, as Shmulik explained, the guard had the Arab face down in the dirt, arrested – no casualties.

Last night, Shmulik was on the job when an Arab approached the city perimeter again. This time, he succeeded in stabbing the guard in the stomach – moderately wounding him. When the head of the security company got the call, he ordered Shmulik out into the streets in front of the mall.

This is when I sort of lost it – “Why?” I asked him, “the Arabs were going for the security guards and he puts you out there?” Yeah, it sounds kind of dumb and I realized it but I wasn’t quite finished obsessing about it. “He should have put the old women on the street and put the security guards safe in a room.”

Laughter and smiles…and a bit of panic. A few minutes later it penetrated that we weren’t talking about an attack INSIDE the city, but rather on the outskirts and Shmulik was placed there to watch and make sure shoppers in the mall were safe in case the attacker had come into the city.

Still feels like a roller-coaster to me.

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