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Fake Israeli Bomb Squad Insignia
by Judy Lash Balint
Jerusalem Post
October 1, 2005

"Judy, Where's your head?" asked the plain clothes bomb squad officer who I barely stopped from blowing up my car on an alley just off Emek Refaim the other night.

It was just two hours since I'd stepped off a plane at Ben Gurion airport after 19 hours of flying and airport-sitting on my way back from the west coast. After dumping my bags at home, I met my son for dinner so we could catch up on the past few weeks.

I parked the car and we wandered off for some nice kosher French food that you just don't get in Seattle. Turning the corner as we walked back to the car, I saw the strange sight of my white sedan sitting in the middle of the street surrounded by some serious looking bomb squad guys all holding weird black equipment.

The head honcho, a tall, hefty type was about to punch a hole in the car roof with some kind of special hammer. The whole thing played in slow motion as I ran down the street shouting: "Stop, stop, it's mine."

Bomb squad guy had obviously checked out the license plate and addressed me by name, questioning my sanity.

It's a manual car and I'd forgotten to pull the hand brake when I parked. The car had slid slowly out into the street and the neighbors came out to take a look. From the driver's seat they saw a dangling wire--the earphone had slipped out as I slid out of the car. That clinched it--they called the cops and now my car was about to be bashed in to make sure it wasn't packed with explosives.

Bomb squad guy was actually very understanding after I stuttered that I was totally jet lagged and had been driving an automatic car for the past couple of weeks. He called off his helpers, told me to get some sleep and be sure to move the rocks they'd placed in front of the wheels to stop it sliding any more.

Oh, and then he wished me Shana Tova. (Happy New Year)