Halla, hallot 521.
(photo credit: Amy Sprio )
Shelly Levy and Ken Lebowitz had planned to bake their own challah
for Shabbat on Friday, but then came the lockdown.
As residents of
Watertown, Mass., ground zero for the citywide manhunt for the second suspect in
the Boston Marathon bombing, they weren’t able to get out of the house to buy
the necessary ingredients.
Levy was woken during the night by multiple
explosions and gunfire down their street. Only later did they find out that the
shootout that led to the death of the first suspect had occurred just a few
blocks from their home.
Levy and Lebowitz, who first met as overseas
students at Hebrew University, later lived in Israel for several
“This is nothing like Israel,” said Lebowitz, who was holed up
with his wife and teenage son, Noah. “Can you imagine Israel shutting down a
whole city looking for one 19-year kid?” They had no indication when the
lockdown would end. Their neighborhood had grown quieter than it had been
overnight, when hundreds of law enforcement had swarmed the area.
looked like a war zone,” Levy said, with armored carriers plowing down their
At about 9 a.m., a member of the National Guard in full battle
fatigues knocked on their door, Levy said. He searched their basement and wanted
to make sure they were safe and weren’t being held against their
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Levy, director of support services for the upper school of Solomon
Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, and Lebowitz, a software engineer, were
spending the time fielding phone calls from friends and family and posting
updates on Facebook.
One friend from Israel posted on their page that the
Israeli news interviewed Boston’s consul general, who had likened the deserted
streets of Boston to what the streets in Israel look like on Yom Kippur, when
few cars or people venture out.
As for Shabbat preparations, the family
wasn’t going to let a lockdown get in the way of their Shabbat meal, which had
become a sacred family tradition. They may not have the ingredients to bake
their own challah, but Levy said she making matzah ball soup, which “I think of
as comfort food.”
Noting that they bless their children each Shabbat (an
older daughter is away at college), Levy said, “blessing Noah this Shabbat will
take on even more meaning given the events of last night and today in Watertown
and the bombings on Monday at the Marathon. “When we kiss and hug Noah this
evening, it will be a little tighter and longer,” she said.
remembered, “we have half a challah left over from during the week. We’ll use
that.“This story first appeared in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.
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