war anxiety os for the weakWhile a few of my fellow Jerusalites are sitting in front of TV’s and computers getting nervous, some of my friends and I are developing a war drinking game.

A certain measure of fatalism is the only way I’ve found to live life in Israel through the ups and downs. I’ve been here for the intifada’s bombings, the long range missile threats from Iraq and now this. You just have to make your peace with it and realize that death is not fair and not in your control.

People become disproportionately afraid when it comes to terror (this is of course, one of the main objectives of terror, hence if you are overly frightened, the terrorists have already won). Yet the fact is that I am far more likely to die an unnatural and premature death in a car accident than in a bus bombing, kidnapping, or Katyusha explosion. But no one gets this distressed getting behind the wheel of a car. They simply understand the potential danger, take precautions like wearing a seat belt, and go about with their day.

There’s just no point getting anxious.

The only way for civilians to prepare for a war like this is to make sure that you are living the life you want, and make sure your family knows how much you love them. Oh, and pray. Often.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • A drink every time:

    – A news item about Lebanese children affected by the crisis, with no mention of Israeli children affected over the last twenty years of katushot

    – A news item about Lebanese tourism, with no mention of Israeli tourism

    – An exclamation about Israel’s disproportionate response, with no mention of what would be a better proportional response

    – A condemnation of Israeli aggression, with no mention of Arab aggretion beforehand

    – Any news item that doesn’t indicate that the entire conflict would end in ten seconds if the hostages were simply released.


  • They just caught a potential suicide bomber over by Jaffa Gate. That definitely merits a drink! Now where\’s that Raspberri Absolut?

    But in all seriousness, I can\’t emphasize enough how normal things are here in Jerusalem. We\’re gonna hear Michelle Citrin play at Mike\’s Place tonight in JTown and fuck those motherfuckers if they think they\’re going to harsh my mellow with their little pea shooter games.

  • Living the life I want…oy. What is that? For now, it means having frozen yogurt and icecafe in the same two hour time span; and while I sit at Coffeeshop the coffee shop on Emek Refaim and try to write, Beni the bartender and shakemeister brings me fruit shakes at regular intervals….

    And tonight, there will be vodka.

  • I’ll be there this evening. But alas, no drinking for me, I have to drive home and avoid rock throwing thugs.

  • how about a drink for every pro-Disengagement patsy who continues to insist that “it was the right thing to do” right up until the missiles reach his or her town.

  • Wow – that sounds fabulous. I was almost a victim of terrorism. You see, I have cable… which means I have cable news. I appreciate your solution and now I just need some drinking partners! L’chaim!

  • This is perhaps the most moving post I`ve read here in the past two years. I`ve forwarded it to my friends Hadas in Haifa and Marzena in TA.

    ck, laya, esther – all the best from Warsaw. A toast to better times!

  • There isn’t going to be any war, this will be over soon.

    Israel cannot fight on their terms and she knows this.

  • Its funny reading this post from the comfort of my LA apartment after so many years- especially the hard ones of the Intifada being in the middle of it.

    You can’t take it too seriously when your there- or how could you keep going? Life and love and work and play all go on and if you stop- they win.

    On that note, PTSD is a nasty thing and even here in America I duck at a car that backfires and run like hell if I see a bag/package on the street.

    I guess, just live now, and deal with it in therapy later.

  • I try to calm myself down with this rationale on a daily basis … but for me right now, the former approach is the only way forward … Long live whiskey!!! Sad, I know.

  • Laya….you have wisdom and sense beyond your years. You are right!!! One cannot live on anxiety alone…..
    Sitting here in Palo Alto, bombarded by the news channels and their slant on everything (guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat and glued to the TV), I lose my focus. I have no control, but I do have belief. I spent yesterday talking to my Israeli friend/neighbor and came away much stronger.
    I do believe it is somehomw easier to live in Israel and to have the vision that we will survive. I find myself so influenced by the holocaust, I forget that we are now all empowered by our State of Israel. Thak you for the reminder.
    I will now swith back to Food TV and try to become the world’s greatest chef.

    Peace and prayers to you all.
    Aunt T.

    ps you look great….hair much longer. hey is that Dave’s adorable puppy?

  • Like I said, this thing won’t be long. THe source of the problem is Syria and Iran.

    Because Bush made a mistake on the Iraq war, instead of reducing Iran, now Israel should bomb Iran And Syria.

    I went through one war as a soldier and freaked out. It’s not easy I don’t know how the ISraelis manage.

    Another war I was in a bomb shelter for many days.

    I am looking forward to my upcoming visit.

  • I’m a Viet nam Vet, I’m also an Evangelist, and I do a lot of teaching on “Spiritual Warfare”.
    When I saw your articale I saw it as good material to use as a way to show preparation for areas of Warfare.
    It is so easy to compare World conflicts(wars,Disasters) to the Battle we have in the Spiritual relm.
    Let me add this comment.
    many say Bush made a mistake of going into this battle, but I know from God’s word, that this is something that will take place no matter what people want or don’t want.
    Bush did the right thing and I stand behind him and all the people of the middle east.
    I continually pray for their safty, strength, peace of mind, and that some how they realize who the Messiah really is.
    Your article is well written and would love to have more pertaining to the things that the people do in everyday life with all this hardship going on day after day.

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