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Monday, June 14, 2004

Trouble in Paradise

It seems that we are destined to have our first year in Israel packed with as many ‘experiences’ as is physically possible. There are only so many days in the year…so thank G-d for that.

Last night, sometime between midnight and 4:00AM, somebody broke into our house. In fact several other houses in our neighborhood were also broken into during the same time period. There seems to be a crime wave underway here in our town, as the past few months have seen over 50 burglaries!

My theory is that it has to be drug addicts. Who else would be so bold (stupid) as to break into houses in a community where literally everyone has a gun!? It brings up some rather complex issues of civil and Jewish law, as well.

According to Jewish law, if a burglar enters your house during the day, it is assumed that he is not expecting anyone to be home and therefore you are not allowed to attack him. However, if he enters at night, when people will usually be at home, one should assume that he is armed and willing to confront the homeowner (and therefore you should kill him before he kills you). When I learned this tidbit years ago in a lecture on Jewish law, it never occurred to me that there would come a day when the practical application would present itself. I have to look into the civil statutes on confronting a burglar, but an attorney with whom I work says that it is not quite as clear-cut as the religious law.

Our (big) kids sleep upstairs on the third floor and we sleep on the first floor with the baby. The main entrance to the house is on the second floor, and that seems to be where the thief limited his exploration.

We were lucky, in that after looking through all the cabinets and closets, the thief only took Zahava’s cell phone and a relatively small amount of cash.

The town’s security office and the police responded within minutes of our calling, but this was probably hours after the actual break-in.

Suffice it to say that my dog (who normally sleeps downstairs with us) and I will be sleeping in the living room for the foreseeable future.

I am going back and forth between feeling furious and feeling particularly violated/vulnerable.

Posted by David Bogner on June 14, 2004 | Permalink


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I thought that family houses now come with smart, customizale [e.g Shabbes smart] alarm systems? Would the installation be very costly?
Heaven thanks you all went safe and sound.

Posted by: mademoiselle a.a. | Jun 14, 2004 12:38:51 PM

We actually went back and forth when we bought the house as to whether we wanted to install an alarm system or 'decorative' metal bars on the windows and sliding doors. At the time we were thinking terrorists...not drug addicts, so we opted for the bars. I now think we will have to add the electronic do-dads as well. [sigh]

Posted by: David | Jun 14, 2004 1:46:09 PM

will you and the dog be sleeping with some 'other' sort of protection as well? (you know... like a cat...)

Posted by: lisa | Jun 14, 2004 7:22:41 PM

How awful! Sounds like a security system would be a good idea.

Posted by: Gail | Jun 14, 2004 8:14:16 PM

Well, yes, we are going to be beefing up the security system...but we are waffling between the 'Fort Knox' system and the 'NORAD' system. One is just expensive, and the other is stupid expensive.

And as far as sleeping with "some 'other' sort of protection as well? (you know... like a cat..." ...heh, yeah, that's right. In fact I just got finished cleaning the 'cat', and as soon as I finish writing this,I'm gonna start shoving 9mm shells up the cat's ass.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to express their horror and good wishes. And thanks for realizing that this wasn't about a little cash or a cell phone... that it was (and is) about feeling safe.

Posted by: David | Jun 14, 2004 9:44:08 PM

YIKES! How awful! Glad everyone is OK, but how scary!

Speaking of Colorado (you did mention NORAD), my brother who lives there told me about Colorado's interesting gun law which says that you have to wait for the burglar to have both of his/her feet inside your house before you can legally shoot them. Doesn't matter day or night. ;)

Interesting, though. What would the P'sak be on a burglar who enters your house during the day and who doesn't have any qualms about using force on his/her victims?

(who just got the spammer message!)

Posted by: jennifer | Jun 15, 2004 12:14:21 AM

Yikes! Glad you're all ok, but I know how horrible it feels to have your home broken into. Angry and violated are normal!

Posted by: Beth | Jun 15, 2004 3:48:30 AM


(That's for you, David). :-)

Glad to know you are safe. Being burglarized is very harrowing.

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 16, 2004 8:03:14 PM

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