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Israeli teens react to their first time under fire

Maor Margules and Anna Ron, tenth-graders in Kiryat Gat in JUF’s Partnership 2000 region, write about rocket attacks on their town.

How I feel about the situation
By Anna Ron

In this ongoing war, there are many sacrifices. The injuries are not always physical, and the situation is not always what you see in the news.

The problem on our side is not always the injuries but the mental scars that will follow a lot of people for the rest of their lives.

At this stage, no one’s home is safe. It’s scary even to go walk the dog, School is out and honestly we are happy about it, not just because we don`t study, but because none of the parents wants us to leave our house. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re constantly worried.

To tell the truth, I'm not really concerned about myself; I'm a big girl and can mentally handle the situation. But my closest friend sometimes finds it hard to cope with everything. It’s an awful feeling to know your house, your sanctuary, isn't safe anymore.

Most of my friends tell me they are scared to sleep at night. They are afraid they won't wake up, or that they will wake up in the hospital.

It may look like an awful scenario, but it’s our reality. It’s our first time in the fire zone and this time it’s for real.

I especially have a reason to worry. My grandmother lives at Sderot, which has been under fire for eight years. Every time I go visit her, it makes my heart miss a beat. I love her so much and I am afraid for her constantly.

Is sleeping on a couch great?
By Maor Margules

You know, when rockets were fired at Sderot during the past eight years, we all felt bad and concerned about the people there, but yet we don't know how it really feels. You don't really know what to say, since you didn't have this experience.

Now we know how it feels when rockets are sent to your city and threaten your house, which is the place where you feel you are safe, and threaten your family and friends, the people who you love the most and if something would happen to them, you would feel you're dying.

It's hard to find a good thing in this situation, but I found it. The good thing is that I think all the Israelis are now one, and we are all gathered together. We all feel pain about the people who live in the cities where there are alarms.

For example, one thing I’ll share with you is when I was going out with my mother in the morning to the mall. All of a sudden it was shown on the TV that a rocket fell in a school in Beersheva. Surprisingly, after a couple of minutes, a lot of people in the mall came and watched with my mother and me. We were 20 people watching the news on one TV, and suddenly I felt safe. I'll never forget it.
I know our army and our government are doing the best they can so we will be safe, and I know this war in Gaza is meant to give us safety for the long term.

Now I need to run to the shelter. There is an alarm.

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