Hag Sameach

This week was challenging for PR professionals. With the Fourth of July holiday on Wednesday, some audiences were gone at the beginning of the week, others at the end. Many PR agencies and companies, c3PR included, delayed releasing news and sending out newsletters until next week. While it was great to have a day off in the middle of the week, it was also a bit of an inconvenience. This story by Louis Fried, a fellow writer and friend spending some time in Jerusalem, brought it all back into perspective:

“Happy Fourth of July! The following really happened. Wednesday, July fourth, in Jerusalem was a usual day … business, traffic, tourists, shopping in the farmers’ market nearby … everything as usual. That night we watched a movie on television. Our living room windows were open to catch the cooling night breeze. They also let in the traffic sounds from the street on that side of the building. About eleven-thirty we turned off the TV and prepared for bed. The bedrooms of our flat overlook a paved courtyard about a hundred feet wide between our building and the hotel across from us. There was a noisy late-night party going on the in the courtyard. Shouts, laughs, hoots, whistles, talk, screams, the yells of a few young men kicking a soccer ball to each other made me close our double-paned window and pull the heavy drape. We lay down, but the noise, which echoed off the stone buildings, still penetrated our barriers. Then, as if at a signal, the noise stopped. I glanced at the bedside clock. It was just before midnight. I was curious. I rose from the bed and went to the window, pulling aside the drape I looked at the courtyard seven floors below us. There must have been over a hundred young men and women standing quietly. A few had automatic rifles slung over their shoulders … Israeli settlers or soldiers. The only sound beside street traffic was the hissing of three fireworks fountains that someone had lit in the square. The silence continued for a few seconds and then a woman’s clear voice began singing. God bless America, Other voices joined hers and soon it seemed they were all singing. From the rolled “Rs” and the slightly guttural pronunciation of the “c” it sounded like many were Israeli voices. Land that I love. In my mind I automatically started singing the familiar words. Stand beside her and guide her Through the night with a light from above. I swallowed the piece of nostalgia stuck in my throat. From the mountains to the prairies To the oceans, white with foam, Someone absent-mindedly bounced a soccer ball. The man next to him grabbed it and held it still in his hands. At the edge of the crowd a man and a girl set off two more sparkling fountains. God bless America, Our home sweet home! God bless America, Our home sweet home. For a few moments the silence held again, then someone who had obviously been to too many ball games screamed a rebel yell, “Yaaaaahoo!!!” “Hag sameach!” an Israeli shouted back. “Happy Holiday.”

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