We Davened As Rockets Fell

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A Man Praying At The Wailing Wall (western wall) , Jerusalem, Israel
15 Nov 2012

I am not naive. I know what is going on and by no means do I intend to minimize the gravity of the situation. In fact, I will not be learning with my chavrusa (study partner) today for he is now at his base readying for whatever may lay ahead.

All I intend to do is put some of my thoughts to paper.

The Chazan (Jewish cantor) chanted Retzei during Mussaf today. I slipped off my shoes and made my way to the front of the Beis Medrash (study hall). As I began to ascend the stairs to bless the congregation, a siren began to wail.

But we did not stop.

The Chazan called out “Cohanim (Preists),” his voice muffled by his Talis (prayer shawl). The ground shook beneath us, a loud boom reverberating throughout the Beis Medresh.

But we did not falter.

Yivarechicha” we sung and the ground shook once more. Hashem….

We ended with “Shalom,” blessing the Jewish people with Peace. The siren had not stopped and the ground was still vibrating from the barrage of rockets. I descended down the stairs and I realized something more profoundly than ever before.

They could not stop us.

These rockets have been disturbing our davening (praying) for thousands of years. Whether they came disguised as a Greek or a Roman, a Crusader or a Cossack, a Nazi or a Terrorist–we have not failed.

The rockets will ultimately fail! The terror will falter!

Yet Our Birchat Kohanim (priestly blessing) will go on. It will endure just as it has for thousands of years.

I felt a connection to our mesorah (tradition) this morning like never before.

I gained a better understanding this morning of what is Torat Chaim, a living Torah.

And I realized this morning that we will prevail, for that is the will of G-d.

Tell us your stories about living In Israel under the specter of war and rockets. 

It can be your story or something you’ve heard from a friend or loved one.

My daughter told me her friend in the IDF is on his last day.  He’s hoping it won’t get extended.

“Relax, don’t worry.  Israel always wins.” My friend tried to reassure me. 

My daughter’s school is preparing them with drills.

Support each other with your shared experiences


The OU and RCA express support for Israel’s defense of innocent lives along Israel’s southern border. They call upon all supporters of Israel to engage in extra Torah study, prayer, political action, and charity in support of Israel’s soldiers and civilians in this battle.


Yossi Katz is learning this year at Keren b’Yavneh, a Hesder yeshiva, several miles northeast of Gaza.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.