Thursday, April 24, 2003

Last week I went shopping for nice white T-shirts for the girls. It's that white T-shirt time of the year. I will spend the next two weeks continually washing these T-shirts so they'll be clean and ready for the next white T-shirt event. It begins next week with the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) ceremonies. It continues the week after that with Yom HaZikaron (memorial day for fallen soldiers) - two ceremonies - evening and morning, then the next day Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day). Two weeks later there's Lag Ba'omer (we've already started collecting the wood), but they won't really need white T-shirts for the bonfires will they? Then a fortnight after that is Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, but also the harvest (you know, dancing around haystacks with flowers in hair blah blah), definitely white T-shirt stuff.

I'm quite proud of myself that I thought to plan ahead about the white T-shirts this year. Usually we find ourselves on the morning of Yom HaShoah, scrambling around the closets for white T-shirts that still fit and don't have too many very noticeable stains on them. Well Eldest has reached an age that that just isn't good enough (even a white T-shirt becomes a fashion statement?), and neither are the rather shapeless T-shirts I used to purchase for ten shekels at the corner shop. Children's clothes shops know to stock up on white T-shirts round this time of the year. It only took me about nine years of motherhood to discover this fact. It's apparently all part of springtime.

It's also flag time. Flags are already being peddled by vendors who endanger their lives illegally offering their wares to car drivers on busy junctions. As a result of their efforts, flags are starting to appear on balconies and on cars, in time for Yom HaAtzmaut. Last year there were more flags than I'd ever seen before. Things were bad, people were blowing up all over the place and our soldiers were fighting door to door to combat terrorism. I doubt if we'll be seeing as many flags this year. People have got used to the army, the police and the Shabak thwarting the attacks (well it certainly isn't the Palestinians who are doing anything about them). Well, most of the attacks anyway. The feeling of crisis is not as severe anymore. As for me, the cynicism that left me when this War of Terror began has not yet returned. I'll definitely be flying the flag again this year (actually I didn't take it down from last Yom HaAtzmaut until about three months ago, and only then because it was so dirty. It's still waiting to be washed. You know me and laundry - not the best of friends).