by Jonah S. Keyak, student at Yeshivat Keren B'Yavneh
Blaring sirens ring in my head. Realizing this was not a drill I jumped out of bed and dashed to the closest bomb shelter.
Within seconds this empty room filled with American, Canadian, and
Israeli students, all here in fear for their lives. Boom one, that was close … boom two, that was
closer … wait for it … boom three. I hope no one was hurt. This is when the phones begin to
ring. Listening to hysterical Jewish mothers, and even frantic fathers, it’s now the child’s role to
calm the parents.
Two hundred thousand children didn’t go to school today. All were homebound with
beleaguered parents trying to keep their kids occupied while minimizing the psychological
damage from the constant air raid sirens and bombs dropping all around them. Yesterday, a
school was hit. Thank G-d it had already been evacuated.
I refuse to be afraid, for this is the terrorists’ goal. I’ll be safe, that’s all I can do. But I cannot
deny that every time that siren goes off my heart drops. Not only does this happen when the siren
goes off, but there’s this sort of phantom siren which people hear when ever anything remotely
similar sounds, whether it’s a whistle, or a car driving by, we all jump in anticipation of the siren.
I can hear the bombs dropping all around me. Although they aren’t close enough for our siren to
go off, we can hear all of the screaming sirens from the cities around us. After making sure the
sound is not ours, we go outside to watch and see if Iron Dome will catch the rockets this time -
if you’re lucky, you might see some fireworks.
Helpless, all I can do is sit here in the bomb shelter and wait for the piercing siren to stop. Then
we wait to hear the booms, for that ironically is the most calming sound, because it’s only then
we know that the bombs have landed and we are momentarily safe.
Feeling the shock wave from a bomb nearby, it boggles my mind how crazy this situation is.
America would never allow this to happen to her citizens. Could you imagine if Mexico were
bombing San Diego? Hoping to wake up, perhaps this is just a bad dream. I still would not
rather be in any other place. Israel is home, and I will not allow anyone to take her away from
me. Netanyahu, do something! President Obama, help us!
The area that I’m living is now quiet. There have been at least nine rockets shot into Israel since,
the most recent attempt at a cease fire a few hours ago. Cities like Sderot are still suffering the
trauma of being showered by rockets. In Sderot, 86% of twelve to fourteen year olds wet their
beds and 93% of seven to eleven year olds never play outside. We should not be expected to live
like this. If this is peace I do not want to know what war is.
I am Jonah, a second year student in Israel, age 18. I was born and raised in San Francisco.
I went to school in San Francisco. I will return to go to college in August, 2012 at Yeshiva
University in New York as a sophomore.