For most of us, life under constant rocket fire is unthinkable. Worrying about the safety of our loved ones is not an everyday, tangible fear, but one we instead pray for in a more abstract way. But for Israeli families, especially those who live near Israel's southern border with Gaza, such worries happen constantly. In this video provided to us by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Algemeiner's Benjamin Kerstein, mothers in southern Israel share not only the traumatic effects of life under fire, but the selfless sympathy they feel for their counterparts across the border:
Noa Berkeley of the border town of Sderot said, “My kids will never go alone, anywhere in the house, all the time. We plan out steps from a bomb shelter to a bomb shelter. We always leave a crack open in the window so we can hear the sirens from outside, because if you put on music, and if you put on air conditioning, then sometimes you won’t hear the sirens.”
When there is a warning siren, she describes the response as “very high adrenaline, the heart beats, the body shakes.”
Nonetheless, she did not lack sympathy for the Palestinians on the other side of the border, saying, “Many of the people in Gaza are captive by the Hamas terror organization as much as we are. I am a strong believer in peace and I am praying for it.”
Maayan Hendler of Kibbutz Kissufim described her son’s reaction to the sirens, saying, “He looks at me with eyes that say, ‘Mom, what do we do now, what…?’ Every small sound, they’re asking, ‘Mom, what was that? Mom, what was that?’”
“To explain to a child that it’s healthy to be scared, and good to be scared, just so that he knows how to deal with his body, never in my life did I think I would have to do that,” she added.
When rockets are incoming, “the body jumps into the survival mode,” she recounted.
Mechi Fendel of Sderot described a similar feeling, saying, “You stop the car, and you don’t know which baby to unplug first, to unbuckle first, and grab two and just run with the kids, and just find the closest shelter. It could be a bus stop. It could be the house. It could be just running into a neighbor’s house, and we’ve done it before. You know, you knock and you push the door open, and you run in...”