Toby L.W. Klein

When the Sounds of Rockets become “Normal”

“SOS,” I read on Whatsapp as my heart plummets, “the chocolate in my bomb shelter expired three months ago.”

A sigh of relief watches over me as my phone refuses to stop buzzing. One second, it’s Tzevah Adom–Red Alert–the app that alerts you when there are missile threats. The next, it’s a text from a family member informing me they’re safe and praying I’m safe as well. It’s busy, but it’s calm.

Almost systematically, calls are made, the radio is turned on and our prayers to the only thing in the sky not trying to kill us begin. People admit they’re scared, but they’re not surprised. Israelis will claim this is normal and they’re fearful for but a moment, sleeping soundly knowing that a rocket hitting them is far from likely.

“Yeah, the rockets go off,” they’ll begin, “but they’ll get shot down or land in a field.”

And it’s comforting, knowing that Israelis are able to handle their current situations. Even from afar, they comfort us and ask us only to keep them in their prayers and advocate for the country they live in and love.

In a war filled with hate, we seemingly have one advantage; love. We love one another, whether we want to or not. We pray together as our voices are muddled by both whispers and shouts. We have one collective wish we know deep down might only be a distant dream. In the words of a dear friend, I leave you with the following.

“Don’t pray for me. Pray for peace. Say a prayer for healing for the ones launching the rockets. Imagine how cold their hearts must be to try and keep ours from beating.”

Am Yisrael Chai. I stand with Israel. I believe in peace.

About the Author
Toby Klein is a current senior residing in the suburbs of Chicago. She's a senior fellow in Write On For Israel (Chicago) Cohort 10.
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