When We Heard the Air Raid Siren…

When We Heard the Air Raid Siren…

This past Friday, I was walking down a quiet block when I noticed 4 buses half full of soldiers, and many other soldiers hugging wives and girlfriends and parents goodbye. These soldiers, I realized, were just a handful of the 75,000 IDF reservists being called up to prepare for a possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip this week. The soldiers I saw appeared to be calm and confident, but the women generally looked worried, like they had not slept the night before. Seeing these women, I realized that there are actually two Israels. The Israel of the families with sons and husbands who risk their lives serving in the army, and the Israel of those families like mine that don’t (when my husband became an Israeli citizen, the army told him he was too old to serve).

Even after seeing those soldiers and even though hundreds of missiles have fallen this week only 45 minutes from my home, I was feeling very distant from the war, almost as though it was taking place in a different country. But that all changed when Shabbat came, and while my husband was still at shul in a different neighborhood, an air raid siren went off. Everyone I know had been saying that Jerusalem would not be targeted, since Hamas is afraid of damaging the Dome of the Rock. But I guess the rumors were wrong. So there I was, alone with all my kids while my husband was at shul, and totally clueless about what one does when a missile is headed in your direction. So my daughters decided that the safest place to be was in….the bathroom! After a minute, one of my kids suggested we should recite chapter of Psalms, but…well…we were in the bathroom. We laughed about it afterwards, but when it was happening, we were definitely not laughing. B”H, the missiles that Hamas had sent towards Jerusalem in order to blow up the Knesset fell in a field far from Jerusalem.

But I guess you could say that since Friday night I haven’t felt like I’m living in a different country anymore. Today I feel like I’m living in Israel at war.

IY”H, may Israel be blessed with peace, and may our soldiers and citizens be blessed with safety.

For the Israeli JewishMOMs reading this, I have included a video about safety during missile attacks


  1. I heard you need to stay in the protected area for 10 minutes, not 5. And just to add, in Jlem, you have 90 secs to get to a shelter from the time the siren starts.

  2. This sounds terrifying. Our hearts and prayers are with you here in America.

  3. Here’s a link to the פיקוד העורף/Home Front Command’s instructions about what to do when you hear a siren, how long you have to get to a shelter, and how to prepare a shelter, all in English. Please G-d we’ll never need to use these instructions, and may those that have to no longer need to.


  4. I was told that the bathroom is a very dangerous place to be in the time of a missile attack, lo aleinu, as the tiles can explode from the force of an impact, shooting shards all around. I am hopeful that we will not need it, but please look for a better place, just in case.

    • yikes! thanks for clarifying that. Afterwards someone told me that bathrooms are a bad place to take shelter, and now i understand why. I hope we won’t need, but in case we do, we have figured out a safe place in our house to be if there should be another siren.

  5. We are thinking of you all over there. Stay strong.

  6. If you don’t have a shelter in your home, I’d say kit out your designated safe place with plenty of sifrei kodesh. I have heard of many miracles due to the placement of holy books: fires not consuming, floods not rising, bullets not penetrating….
    May you always be safe!!!

  7. Yep chana, tel aviv as well as jerusalem had a taste of whats been an ongoing lifestyle for people in the south, Particularly for sderot residents that deal with it daily for years now… I want to take this opportinity to tell u and all your readers that Am Yisrael is so AMAZING..especially during this time, we left ashdod and were blessed to find chana weiner ‘s tzimmer in yavniel…(northern israel) called the Villa Rimona, she actually oosted her tzimmers for free to southern israels residents, thats not how I found her, but just amazing chesed and I am surrounded by angels, yes angels. Jewish moms of the Maharosh’s breslov community who have embraced us and taken our children into their schools and the amount of chesed here is mindblowing. Women of all kinds gather here twice a week in the beis midrash and have a shiur followed by dancing inorder to be happy, that it “sweetens the judgements” over am yisrael as the Maharosh says. Everyone smiles amd asks how they can help and are just so amazing. I am moved and inspired, what a hesed wonderland!

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