Everyone and his mother has been weighing in with tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, emails and text messages about their feelings during Operation Pillar of Defense, often from their spot in the shelter, safe room, stairwell or street.
Now it’s the turn of preeminent Israeli writer Etgar Keret, master of the short story, to relate his version of the siren’s call in this week’s issue of The New Yorker.
Called “Pastrami,” for the ‘pastrami sandwich’ game he and his wife play with their 7-year-old son while they wait out an air raid siren on the side of the road near Tel Aviv, it’s at once poignant, comical, and very true:
‘Mommy and I are slices of bread,’ I explain, ‘and you’re a slice of pastrami, and we have to make a pastrami sandwich as fast as we can. Let’s go. First, you lie down on Mommy,’ I say, and Lev lies down on Shira’s back and hugs her as hard as he can. I lie on top of them, pressing against the damp earth with my hands so as not to crush them.