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CCAR Israel Solidarity Trip: Fearful Is Not the Same as Not Feeling Safe

From Monday, the first day of the CCAR Israel Solidarity Trip.

Fearful is not the same as not feeling safe.

Wise words from our tour guide, Uri.

Wise because he gave us permission to acknowledge our feelings.


I feel safe.

I know what to do in the event of a siren.

I know that we will avoid any truly dangerous situations.

And I know that, statistically speaking, I have a better chance of winning the lottery than being killed by an incoming rocket.


But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had moments of worry.

Of concern.

Of fear.

Fear of being awakened from a deep sleep by a siren.

Or being in the shower during a siren.

Which, when the particulars are stripped away, are really a fear of being alone. Of being vulnerable.


In the secure staircase during an air raid siren.

Today, in Ashkelon, the siren sounded.

On a gorgeous, bright day.

While we were in a session in one of the loveliest apartments I have ever seen with a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea.


The siren sounded and I wasn’t afraid.

We walked calmly to the stairwell which was right next to the apartment.

Neither alone nor vulnerable.

I was not afraid.


And then it was over. We returned to the apartment and our dialogue.

It was over and we were OK.

I was OK.


Even the slightest bit relieved.

Because all day I was waiting.

Waiting for the siren.

Standing on the edge of Sderot, we could see the tanks.

We could hear their fire.

We saw the rockets as they headed into Gaza.

I had been waiting for the proverbial other shoe.

So that when it finally happened, the fear of the unknown was released.


A second siren about fifteen minutes later.

Neither alone nor vulnerable.

I was not afraid.

Rabbi Schorr is part of the CCAR Solidarity Trip to Israel.