Jets Are Circling: War Trauma

Here I sit in my safe little corner of America.

But jets are circling overhead.


If I were back in Israel it would mean only one thing:  war.

Israel is a very tiny country, surrounded by hostile nations on all sides.

Our greatest love, as the Jewish People, is our Holy City, Jerusalem. 

Three times a day, in our regular prayers, and after eating bread, we pray:

“U’vanay Yerushalayim, ir ha’kodesh, bi’m-hayrah u’vyameynu, ahmein.”

And (please, God,) rebuild Jerusalem (and the Holy Temple that is the definition of Jerusalem,) the Holy City, quickly and in our days, amen.”

In times of threat, the Israel Air Force jets circle Jerusalem endlessly, protecting her from harm.  Jews, Christians, Muslims, all protected by the IAF.

No other air traffic flies over Jerusalem airspace.  If it does, it gets promptly escorted out by IAF jets.  Sometimes it’s an innocent mistake, but even a private plane owner (of whom there are very few) will find himself in big trouble for inadvertently flying over the Holy City.

The jets have left now but I’m still shaking.

I think of those unfortunate people who live in countries where jets overhead mean bombs and death.

During the 2009 war with Gaza, which is such a complicated situation that I can’t begin explaining it here, my windows were in just the right position to hear the mortars and missiles coming out of Gaza, and the bombs dropped on the tunnels and munitions dumps roaring, columns of smoke belching into the air as the cached explosives went up.

And I knew, each time, that innocent lives were being torn apart, killed, burned, limbs lost….And the jets circling, always circling, and the mortars going “whump…whump…”

One day I was sitting learning Torah in my yeshiva (house of Jewish learning, study hall), when the air raid siren went off.  We students did what we were trained to do: head for the nearest miklat, bomb shelter.

But when we got to the door of our yeshiva, we ran into a group of IDF soldiers.

“Where are you going?” They asked us.

“To the miklat!  What are you doing here?”

“We came to sit and learn.  That’s the best bomb shelter!”

So we all sat down to learn together.

But still, when the jets circle over overhead, my heart pounds, my mouth gets dry…

Leave a comment


  1. No one, nowhere, should live in fear of acts of war or terror. When I hear ordinances exploding in the distance, I know that Fort Pendleton is preparing to deploy. Not reassuring to me. May we learn to live in peace.

  2. Oh Laura, that is so scary. The other day my friend was complaining of the problems when I suddenly said, ” Dear we live in a comparatively v peaceful country, where very minute is not a struggle for life”.

    Have you gone through military training too?

    This desire for power between leaders ends into trauma for the followers.

    Light and love to you

  3. sandracharrondotcom

     /  January 11, 2016

    I love when you share these stories. Most Canadians lead such sheltered lives and your words are thoughtful, educational and necessary.

  4. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  January 11, 2016

    Ouch. And here I am complaining about the neighbor’s dogs barking… I don’t know how good I have it.

  5. Indeed, it is sad that any human being has to live and learn to cope with such a scarred and scarring reality. You’ve put it eloquently, Laura. War is so absurd, refusing to yield to either reason or compassion and empathy.

    • There is no reason for war. If the leaders want war, they can do it just as well in virtual reality. A war of brains, won or lost by wit and cunning, and nobody gets hurt. They could even have their armies running around in VR suits, following orders. Whatever, just…stop…this….stupid….shit!!!

  6. I really wish the world wasn’t like this.


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