I’m at the grocery store trying to buy food for Shabbat. Trying, because half the check out counters are empty. Many of the checkout people didn’t show up. Usually its packed with people, but not tonight. All of the other stores in the strip mall are closed; only Rami Levi is open. After all, war or not, rockets or no rockets, you still need food for Shabbat.
As we’re waiting on line alarms sound over the radio. The first rush of adrenaline passes quickly, when you hear that the alarm is for somewhere else: Ashdod, Netivot, anywhere but Kiryat Malachi. Everyone seems nicer than usual. The lines at the checkout aren’t competitive. Everyone gets it. We all just wait for our turn to check out, and get the heck out of dodge.
Then, another alarm – but this time, the announcer does say “Kiryat Malachi.” Most people sprint for one of the two sealed rooms – actually not so much sealed, but at least concrete reinforced. The first time, I didn’t make it into the room when I heard the boom in the distance. The second time I did.
On the way back to the checkout line (yet again), we passed through a storage area, and I noticed one of the workers pointing to three shopping carts with a sign that said, “Don’t touch. Don’t move.” She explained that the three equally loaded carts – mostly with drinks and cups and such, were put together for the three shiva homes of the three people killed today in Kiryat Malachi. Not your regular shopping carts.
Rabbi Rueven Spolter