Familiar Sounds by Moshe Katz

March 23, 2011

I just landed yesterday, back home in Israel after a long seminar tour of the USA and Canada, and it is great to be home. Today I received some phone calls from dear friends and family, "Are you OK?", "Sure", I said, not understanding their concern, "I landed safely".

No, that is not what they were calling about; they were calling because the first reports on the news were that the 174 bus was hit by terrorists. That is our bus; the bus to Maaleh Adumim .

As it turns out it was a mistake, the 174 bus was not hit/ The bus to Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem, bus 74, was hit. But, as my friend Stephan in Heidelberg said, same bad stuff, Har Nof or Maaleh Adumim, same bad news.

As I always point out; Jerusalem and Israel in general are very safe yet always under threat. Daily our enemies our out to get us but our outstanding soldiers, police and civilians are on the watch. Very few terrorist actions succeed because "The Guardian of Israel does not rest."

This was the first successful attack in our capital in three years. But, as the news is reporting as I write, "Jerusalemites heard the familiar sounds"; i.e. the screams of the wounded, the ambulances, the police. These are sounds the people of Jerusalem are all too familiar with.

A terrorist attack puts life into perspective again, a wake up call, a call to understanding. Everything else becomes "small stuff"; minor problems that can be worked out, little issues that can be dealt with. Everything but life itself seems to be small change.

A terrorist attack reminds us not to take life for granted, that each day is precious and every person is special. Nothing should ever be taken for granted. Today will never come back, no day is ever repeated. And a life that is lost is gone forever.

Yes, it is also a reminder to be more alert, to train harder in Krav Maga, to be watchful as we near a bus station. But it is also a reminder to embrace life and live it to the fullest because today will never come again, and tomorrow…never knows.