Friday night. Shul had just ended, and we were all outside. Kids were running around, circling around their parents, running ahead, shouting to their friends. People stopped to chat, walked a few steps, stopped again. Guy and I were with Adi, Amit was somewhere ahead. Yoni was out of sight -- not at all unusual.
And then -- the siren. For an instant, everyone froze. And then -- panic, immediately followed by doing what we've been taught. Guy grabbed Adi and propelled him across the street. "We have 90 seconds, people," he shouted. "No need to panic."
Amit was suddenly there with us, and we moved with a group of people towards the closest house.
One woman, Yoni's friend's mother, was crouched with her two youngest children, covering their heads. "Come into the house," I told her. "Into the safe room." She was frozen, not quite sure, so I took one of the children from her arms and we moved quickly into the house, into the safe room with the others.
"Everything is okay, I said to Amit and Adi, and to the little girl I was now holding. "Everything is fine."
"Hashem will protect us," said one of the other mothers. Some of the kids were crying, and the moms were close. We're not used to this here. We haven't had years of rocket fire to harden us, to make this another part of living here.
"I don't know where Yoni is," Guy said, I asked if he wanted me to go look for him. "No, I will," he said, and he left.
We heard the booms, close by. And a few minutes later, someone came in and said we could leave.
The owners of the house -- who had been in someone else's safe room -- came home, smiles and welcoming arms, hugs all around. The sent us home with Yemenite pitas and sauces.
Yoni, it turns out, had arrived home moments before the siren. Together with Lior, Shir, and Noam, he was in our safe room, and they were all fine.
But it hardens you, little by little. It makes you angry that you have to live in fear. It changes you.
Article originally found here
Image originally found here