My sense of security has been shattered. All it took was one siren. I feel like a fraud, saying this and knowing (or really, not knowing) what people in the south have been living through. And no, I don’t feel like I am constantly under threat – we had one siren! And odds are so minute that anything would land anywhere near me! Please! And yet. My sense of security has been shattered.
Friday night I left shul to join my friends and make sure I had people to walk to dinner with; the idea of diving into buildings alone wasn’t all that appealing. When I came home, I left keys, shoes, and a sweatshirt by the front door so I could bolt out in case of a siren. I put on PJs that I’d feel comfortable running out in. I cursed myself for not leaving on the silent radio station that just plays sirens (“I’m in Jerusalem! What would I need this for?”). And then I felt overwhelmed by the fact that people have been living like this every day for weeks, months, and years.
Walking to shul in the morning, I kept my eyes peeled for the closest place to run to in case of a siren. I tried not to sit next to windows. I heard “phantom sirens” all day long. (Is that a siren? It’s the wind. Is that a siren? It’s a motorcycle. Is that a siren? It’s a… whatever, you name it. Anything can sound like a siren if you’re afraid of a rocket falling on your head.)
I think I am not alone in saying that I almost feel glad that we had this one siren. That we were suddenly jarred into aligning ourselves with the residents of the south, with the feelings that they go through day in and day out. Thank God we did not have more rockets, and thank God it did not hit a residential area.