It’s an odd thing. The fear that sends your heart to race, your mind to cloud. But it’s not like that. We are not afraid. In that regard each of us is a warrior. Trained to suppress the fear that says, save yourself, run, hide, for the love of God save yourself. We do not run. We do not hide. We go about the day, a cup of coffee with friend, a final exam. Meetings at work continue, carpool, weddings, a run to the store to buy challah for Shabbat.
And in these millions of ordinary moments, our ears listen, eyes search; if a siren would come now, no now, even now, where’s the best place to go? And a plan is made, just like you plan a dinner party, dividing responsibilities: who will pick up the wine, who sets the table, I’ll wash, you dry. Where’s the closest bomb shelter? Let's go to the stairwell. Is there water in the safe room? Close the metal window so the shards can’t get in. Or the way you drive with your spouse to a place you’ve never been: turn right, why didn’t you turn? Oh over there, I think that’s the street. Seriously, slow down. If a siren goes off, you grab the car seat, don’t take him out it takes too much time, I’ll pull over and look for the closest ditch, for the best spot, and we will bend down over the baby, lock arms, heads down, and shield him. Oh and let's not forget both red and white wine.
Or like my husband Ezra and me two nights ago, sitting quietly in our living room, sipping iced coffee, reading the news, the siren goes off, eyes lock, no words, we slowly get up and go to the sealed room in our apartment. Listen – three, no, four booms. Is that it? We ask. It's over, we decide. We leave the room. A return to the coffee, ice slightly melted, and we go to the various newsfeeds to find out what happened. Where did it fall, injuries? We have been here before. Well-trained warriors.
So, thank you for asking and really, thank you for your prayers. We are not afraid. That emotion was suppressed years ago. It is not useful. It is what they want; terror is the point of their unguided missiles and misguided tactics. No one really knows what to do, not politician or general, not the right or the left. But we all agree, most of us, we are not afraid. Not today. And we will not step aside.