: A mother from southern Israel, Esti Lehman of Moshav Shuva, recently put the experience of being under rocket fire into words.

Lehman’s description is as follows:

“A summer night, the window is open and grasshoppers are making music for us on a gentle breeze. This evening I went to bed early, after another hot summer day with the children. Thoughts pass through my head when suddenly the loudspeaker outside goes on, and a woman’s soothing voice announces, “Color Red, Color Red.” A loose translation: a mortar shell or Kassam will hit in another 15 seconds…

I switch to autopilot. Shake my husband, “Run and get them.” The two of us shoot up, almost pushing each other as we race, breathless, to the other side of the house – to the children’s room.

In that second I am always struck dumb – and for a fraction of a second, I am united with all those Jewish mothers who came before me, and who experienced with me this dreadful moment – “who should I take?” The last thought a mother wants to think flashes through my head, “Which of them should I take first?”

For one moment I remember, chillingly, the Holocaust survivor who led us in Poland, and told us how his mother had managed to push him, him of all five siblings, into a small hiding place when the Nazis came to take them…

Three little ones, three options – the oldest just celebrated his fourth birthday yesterday – and he is so heavy to lift from the bed and race to shelter. After him our princess. I sat for hours getting her to sleep, hours of stories and songs, she just fell asleep an hour ago – how will she go back to sleep?… and the soft breaths of our youngest, five months old – and I have only two hands, and only seven seconds…

And that evening I was lucky – my husband was there, the oldest was already with him on the way to shelter, and I was left with two. I lift her with one hand and pull the baby with the other, one second later run to the other room. Usually at this point I already hear the boom in the background – and now I’m praying it will stay in the background.

I put them on the bed – and in the meantime close the iron door and window shades – the handle has not yet turned and the explosion comes… the house trembles, so do I… ”

(Written by Maayana Miskin, INN)

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