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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I felt the earth move

About five minutes ago we had a mild earthquake here in the holy land...about a 5 on the Richter scale.

I'm sitting in Be'er Sheva and Zahava is at home (an hour+ north of here) near Jerusalem. We both felt and heard the 'little' rumbler.

Yikes.

It started as a dull hum just below threshold of human hearing, and quickly ramped up to about 20 seconds of side-to-side rattling. Just as quickly as it started...it stopped.

Everyone in my office immediately gathered in the hallway making nervous jokes and exchanging earthquake stories. The untertone of relief was unmistakable. After a few minutes, there was a very mild aftershock, and then nothing but the sound of more false bravery, and jokes being told a little too loud.

I know it is a horrible thought...but I can't help contemplating the hidden blessing that would have accompanied a much stronger quake.

Please don't think for a moment that I would wish for loss of life or property. This is just me thinking out loud in the euphoria of surviving an earthquake.

If the quake had been more serious, I can't help thinking about the opportunities that would have presented themselves. You see, earthquakes don't respect borders. They don't recognize factions or religious nuances. Barring some sort of supernatural sharp-shooting, we would all have been effected - Jew and Muslim alike. In the aftermath of such an event, perhaps there would have emerged the opportunity for small acts of kindness and understanding. Medical suplies would be exchanged. Helping hands would help clear rubble. Grief and relief could be shared...if not with words, at least with the universal lexicon of facial expressions and body language.

Am I insane for imagining that some sort of disaster is the only way beyond the present impasse?


Posted by David Bogner on February 11, 2004 | Permalink

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Maybe I'm a pessimist but I can't help thinking about Iran refusing to let Israel help them recently when they suffered and immense tragedy.

Posted by: Lisa Rappoport | Feb 11, 2004 5:27:22 PM

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