What Would You Save?

Halamish Fire

Since my last post the fires in Israel have now stopped. Several local yeshuvim were evacuated on Friday, including Ya’ad, where both my boys schoolteachers live.  Thankfully nobody was hurt and amazingly no homes damaged. Thanks to the fire service being on high alert.

The residents of Halamish (Neve Tzuf), down in the centre of the country, were not so lucky however. They lost 15 homes, completely destroyed by the fire and 60+ houses were damaged. Please see below the appeal from my cousin Miri and, please donate whatever you can through the link below;

Link to donate – https://www.projector.org.il/en/projects/73/

These people were given no warning, they just had to run out of their houses in the middle of the night (and likely no coincidence the terrorists chose a Friday, just to make it all the more traumatic). They had no chance to grab even a few personal things.

I am curious to know what they would have saved if they had been given a heads up. Last Thursday whilst the local fire was still smouldering a neighbour advised me to pack a bag for all the family.  Just In Case we were evacuated. As the fire regenerated I realised this could become a very real possibility to I told the boys to pack a bag.  They calmly stuffed clothes, pyjamas a book and several teddy bears into a bag (except for Raviv who opted for his backpack). I however, was totally lost. I wandered round the house aimlessly trying to think what to save. Silver candlesticks? Most likely insured. Photos? We only have a few albums. Most are still in boxes or on hard drives awaiting attention. My current reading book? Easily replaceable. Essential documents e.g. teudat zehut? I really hope that if my home ever burnt down and I arrived bedraggled and destitute in the misrad hapanim they would be able to help me out with that one. Toothbrush? I can buy one anywhere for a few shekel. Food? Waste of time seeing as I couldn’t possibly pack enough to last for very long. Clothes? Surely someone could lend me some if my house burnt down.  Most likely nicer than what I am currently wearing. Well maybe perhaps the cardy I crocheted for myself and my ancient cashmere coat. But somehow they didn’t spring to mind.

In face, I honestly couldn’t think of a single thing worth saving other than my children and their bears.

It’s strange how your mind thinks differently in these emergency situations. Marie Kondo would probably tell me that it’s a sign I don’t need half the stuff in my house, and that’s possible. But I think half the problem is we just can’t imagine living without the basics, and after that everything else pales into insignificance. In the end I just packed clothes for me and the baby, a few cloth nappies and my tablet.

Looking back, I suppose it makes the most sense to pack things which are both sentimental and useful. Here is what I would have shoved in the bag now that I have had some time to think about it;

  1. A few clothes to include the home made cardy, and some of the more unique handy items, such as the Desigual scarf Husband bought me in Europe.
  2. All 4 kids baby books.
  3. This cranky old laptop I am currently using, which I think has photos in it.
  4. Couple of photo albums pulled out at random. (Hooray for online wedding albums!)
  5. Jojo’s small folder of artwork from Kita Alef plus any other small artwork creations the kids especially want to save.
  6. Anything which I personally crocheted (kippot, baby scarf, hat and mitten set, etc)
  7. A jar of homemade granola, some fruit and a pack of crackers.
  8. Lavender massage oil.
  9. My writing book.
  10. One birthday or anniversary card from Husband.
  11. Stories for 6 year olds and Stories for 7 year olds. (Books I am currently reading to my kids which were compiled by my Great Uncle. Thus serving a dual purpose.)
  12. Baby blanket made by grandma Rita. (see above)
  13. Book; The Power Of Now. Which I would imagine would be very useful to process the trauma (and which also belongs to my friend Shoshanah).

Oh, and our Dog. But she wouldn’t have gone in the bag.

What would You have packed?


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