No, the fireworks here aren’t, in fact, weird, or different at all from chu”l (pronounced “chooool”, meaning “outside of Israel”) fireworks. Still, my post a while back lamenting the loss of fireworks was premature, as it turns out: there are lots and lots of fireworks here.
Apparently, it’s customary to have fireworks at Muslim weddings, but we have seen a few in Jewish areas as well. There’s one area just beyond our window where we have seen fireworks a few times just since we’ve been here, and just now – what prompted me to think, “weird,” was another display just north of here, probably halfway to Acco.
Some of those could be Muslim, but some probably are not. There were city-run fireworks right here in Kiryat Yam, I think, during chol hamoed Sukkos (or maybe the night after Sukkos at their “hakafot shniyot” party; I forget).
I am jumpy, still, when I hear them. But Israelis, generally, are not. There was a huge boom sound during ulpan yesterday (also just north of here, up the coast) and everyone in the class got a bit jumpy, but the teacher just said, in her “easy-Hebrew” rendition, “zeh lo ba’aya; harbeh boom-boom b’Yisrael.” (it’s not a problem, there are many “boom booms” in Israel)
So my jitters are apparently the mark of a newbie. Real Israelis know what a crisis sounds like, and it’s not the same as fireworks. This is reassuring, I guess; I pray we never have to know what the real thing sounds like.