It’s 9:30 am on the day of the supposed Rapture.
If you’re a good friend of mine IRL, you’ll know that since 9/11 I have been minorly obsessed with and concerned about things like cataclysm, apocolypse, and your basic run of the mill doomsday scenario. Truthfully, my obsession goes back even farther: I remember sitting in my parents bedroom in front of their color TV and watching The Day After with intent, alone. From that day on, from time to time, I imagined myself in disaster scenarios. How would I make it? Would I even want to make it? What’s the benefit to being one of the survivors in a new world that sucks? Where you have to eat rodents and pull your own teeth out when they rot?
When my book club read The Road, I had nightmares, but I also took mental notes. I want to be prepared, truly I do. But it’s an expensive proposition to have a fully-stocked underground bunker. Since 9/11, however, I have had a medium-sized tupperware container stocked in my basement with a week or two supply of food and some basic disaster kit items like matches and flashlights. Truth is, though, what I really want is a stronghold out in the woods seriously stocked for survival, but when I asked my husband for this for my birthday, he got me a pretty purple scarf instead.
Now that I live in Israel, you’d think that I would be even more frightened. You’d think that the Middle East is certainly the part of the world that will “end” first.
Or maybe it will be the place where most people survive and start anew.
I jokingly told this to my friend Jami before I left in December. She knows that I partially believe December 21, 2012 might indeed be TEOTWAWKI. I said to her, “If the shit hits the fan in 2012, Israel is either the first to go or the only place standing.” (Ha ha ha, I laughed. But I really meant it. I mean it still.)
So, now that my Facebook friends are jokingly posting REM videos on their status updates and news media outlets are trying to maintain serious tones while reporting on the beliefs of Family Radio, I sit and breathe deep, hoping that we can all laugh about this tomorrow.
What? you ask. Are you actually worried about this Rapture thing?
I can’t say that I’m actively worried, but The Rapture is just another impetus for me to start thinking about the things I have been anxious over since 9/11 and even moreso in recent years in which we’ve been witness to the world, at the very least, “having a really hard time.”
War, economic crises, tsunamis, tornadoes. I can see how the folks who take the Bible literally can get on board with Harold Camping’s prediction. It really does seem like end times in many ways, if you believe in that sorta thing.
But getting back to why I think Israel is the place to be if TSHTF. Most survivalists — the guys and gals who have cabins up in the mountains of West Virginia stocked full of food, electric generators, and guns — tell you that living off the beaten path is much better than living in the city. You’ll want to be near a natural water source (I have a reservoir less than 1/2 a mile away.) You’ll want land to grow your own food — we have orchards of olive and grapefruit trees here, not to mention a dairy farm.
In addition, because of years of war and conflict in Israel, we do have bunkers stocked with weapons right here on the kibbutz. Furthermore, as every Israeli citizen is required to serve 2-3 years in the army, I have friends and neighbors who know how to use said weapons. They’ve been paratroopers and medics. They know which herbs are safe to eat and which can be used to soothe burns.
I have gas masks stocked in my office. We have a national warning system. Not to mention ancient caves and waterways to hide in. And don’t forget about Masada.
Israel, if anywhere, is ready for shit to hit the fan.
Now, none of this will help me too much if the Earth opens up and swallows me as some Rapturists believe. And it certainly won’t help me if an asteroid hits the Mediterranean and a huge tsunami sweeps us away into Syria.
But, I kinda think my odds of surviving cataclysm have increased just by making Aliyah.
Not an advantage you are necessarily going to advertise on the brochure. But useful nonetheless.