It is Shabbat and here in Tel Aviv things are business as usual for the most part. It is always quieter on Shabbat but things are, even so, quieter than usual in my area of town. Friday nights are generally pretty loud (and obnoxious) on the street outside my apartment, with horns honking, music blaring from cars waiting at the traffic light, people strolling along the street going to and coming from the clubs and restaurants at the port just down the street from me and being very loud as they do so. Last night the street was very muted and I didn't even have to yell once from my window that hello, it is after 2 a.m. and there are people living here who want to sleep so could you please stop yelling across the street to one another!
A few minutes ago, the sounds from the loudspeaker at the beach drifted through my window with the life-guard calling 'hey little boy, you are going out too far. Come back toward shore, now, immediately.' Over-laying it was the sound of one of our military planes flying along the shore.
Here it is life as usual. Not so for the people in our northern communities. For a very long time not so for the people in our communities bordering Gaza. Not so for the people in Lebanon.