An unfortunate first

First violent attack in Jerusalem of my time here. I wasn't in the Old City when it went down, but I was walking to do some post-Shabbat shopping with some of my roommates and I saw the hordes of emergency vehicles making their way to the Old City.

Our group facilitators spent a lot of time talking to us about the security situation in Jerusalem before we got here.  They've told us that, unfortunately, it's best to think of a certain amount of violence as part of the normal ebb and flow of life here. Sometimes times are better, and sometimes they're worse, but violence (Jew against Palestinian, Palestinian against Jew, Jew against Jew, Palestinian against Palestinian) is always a part of life. It's interesting to think about it in the context of the past week's events in Oregon; just as being shot by a deranged individual with easy access to firearms is just a normal risk of life in the United States, becoming the victim of sectarian violence is just a normal risk of life here. I actually don't feel particularly unsettled at the moment, but maybe I'll feel differently at some point.