I live in Be’er Sheva, and we are pretty lucky. We don’t get the pounding other areas of the South get. Plus I have a mamad (safe room) in my apartment. I also don’t have little ones at home thatI need to worry about when the sirens start. And most important I have a whole minute to get to a safe area.
I hope the people reading this never have to understand the feeling one gets when a siren goes off. It’s hard to describe. First of all the sound cuts right into you. The latest one was sort of expected — after all, 70-plus missiles were shot into the South in less than 24 hours. The ones that wake you up from your sleep are totally unexpected. My mind is well trained — the first thing I do is grab my cellphone — after all, “what if?” At the same time I’m looking for the dog to bring her into the mamad with me. Then I close the door and close the blast windows (although I can’t keep them closed all the time — I crave daylight).
While the siren is going off you can’t think of anything else but wonder where your loved ones are. I knew my husband, David, was at work, but he has farther to go to get to a safe area. You can’t call because you don’t want to hold anyone up from getting to safety. You open Facebook so you don’t feel so alone (my computer is in the mamad since that is also my office). And you listen to the siren and wait until you hear the booms/explosions. Or like today, I heard the Iron Dome take off for a successful intersection.
Go to YouTube and find a video of the South under fire. Watch it and think of what it would be like if you had to live with the threat of that, if you had to interrupt your meals, play time, shower, and your life in general. Think about how you would feel knowing your kids are in schools which have been hit in Be’er Sheva. Do you let them go out and play when they get home? A million people here in the South live with it daily.
It is time to stop being silent!
Be’er Sheva, Israel
(The writer is a former resident of South Orange.)