This coming Yom Kippur will be the one 40 years after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. At that time I had recently arrived in Jerusalem with my wife Mary and my 11 month old son John to assume the position of Dean at the then Institute of Holy Land Studies (now the Jerusalem University College).
Today (September 12, 2013) the Israelis have released many documents concerning the commission that investigated the decisions of the Israeli leadership that led up to that war—in which the Israelis were ultimately successful, but initially was catastrophic for the Jewish state.
For this new information I suggest a recent edition of The Times of Israel:
Golda Meir: ‘My heart was drawn to a preemptive strike, but I was scared’.
Account of King Hussein’s 1973 war warning still deemed too harmful to release.
Three years too late, Golda Meir understood how war could have been avoided.
On that fateful Yom Kippur our family was out strolling below the Knesset with the family of Jim Monson. We were amazed/astounded to witness traffic on the street (there is NO traffic on Yom Kippur!!). Then the air raid sirens began to sound and we realized that all was not well!
As we returned to our apartment we found our neighbors cleaning out the bomb shelter (mattresses, bicycles, etc. had accumulated there). The husband of one of our neighbors was stationed on the front line on the Suez Canal (all but one of the outposts there were destroyed by the invading Egyptians—he was in the one that survived!).
TODAY (September 12, 2013) there are many articles (up-until-now classified) in the Times of Israel regarding the decisions of Israeli leadership that took place prior to and during the fateful day. Little did we know that as we were out strolling, that fateful decisions had been, and were being made in the Knesset complex above above us!
For any Israelis who might stumbled on this post and have read this far and are familiar with Golda’s Hebrew – “ain kolsafeq”
BTW – Mary and I were also in Israel before, during, and after the Six Days War (the joke in our family is that her brothers were in the US military but she has been in two wars and two intifadas!).
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem! (Psalm 122:6)