In the past, before and after missile attacks, Israeli civil defense sirens would first send out distinctive variable warning tones, meaning “take cover,” and follow them with a steady, single tone to indicate “all-clear.” But all-clear tones have not been used during recent Israel air raids for the somewhat ironic purpose of “avoiding needless confusion.” Also a bit ironic, most sirens in use in Israel were manufactured in Germany. And they are loud. The sound volume of the “supercharged” HLS F-71 pneumatic alarms used throughout Jerusalem and made by Hörmann gmbH, for example, are rated at 132 decibels, considered slightly louder than an aircraft jet engine at takeoff.
In less technical terms, they can knock your socks off.
Late in the afternoon of May 10, not coincidentally Jerusalem Day, the sirens that began to sound near our home in south Jerusalem seemed easily up to that standard. Their volume is almost painful. We live in plain sight of two siren towers, one not far to our west, the other across the Green Line, near Gilo. When they first went off, Marcia and I wondered if they may have been commemorative blasts. (Sirens wail throughout Israel each year, for example, on Holocaust Remembrance Day.) But no, for the first time in several years, Jerusalem was under attack.
Like all relatively modern homes in Israel, our home has a special “safe room.” These rooms are required by code in new Israeli construction and are built differently. Their walls are more substantially reinforced and they feature sturdier windows and doors. Some have filtered ventilation systems. Most perform double duty as bedrooms, offices, or both when missiles aren’t flying.
With the sirens still sounding, we stepped into our safe room, closed and latched its heavy door and slid a massive, solid steel panel shut across its only window. If the power goes out, it’s dark as a cave. Sure enough, after about two minutes elapsed, we heard several deep, familiar-sounding thuds. By benefit of experience gained during the last Gaza war, we knew the bombs hadn’t fallen close by. (The ground didn’t shake as it had back then during those senseless bombings.)
Late last night, we heard similar faint booming sounds as rockets rained on Tel Aviv. No truer sentence has ever been written than the one that follows…
To be continued.
This post originally appeared at messianictimes.com
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For as long as you have lived in Israel, I am sure you are never “accustomed” to the sirens. It has to be scary. I pray for you and Marcia daily and during these times you described so vividly, you were fervently prayed for. I am so thankful you were kept safe. No one will ever be able to defeat and destroy Israel. (I have that on very good authority)! Much love to my precious friends!
Cynthia frohlich says
Prayers for you and Marcia. And for Israel. Love to you both.
loleta Ashcraft says
I have shared your e-mails with friends and family. You have many prayers being said for you and all in Israel. I pray this ends soon and peace will return to you. The US is having problems too, but not as serious at this time as you. God bless us all. Stay safe!
Robin pope says
Stay safe my friend. Israel stands alone. Biden is a fool.
Thanks, Robin. You too (and amen).
Elaine Keller says
My prayers are with you and Marcia always,Cliff and for all your people especially now.
The really old aunt!(had really big birthday last week)
Thanks, old one, and congratulations!
Barry Raffensberger says
Thanks for fine article.
I can relate to the sirens, heard them many times,
So curdling in a way. Helped during 2014 war,
Lots of rockets into our base area, the explosions are very loud, our doors shook. Other occurrences also…..
Frightful, scary, and yet a hope and trust, while wondering what’s next….
……perhaps it’s the real trust in the hope in Messiah,.However, never presuming upon Him.
In this broken world, people need the Lord.
Praying for You all and the precious people in the land.
Sylvia Schneider says
loleta Ashcraft says
May God protect you and keep you safe .I will continue praying for all of Israel. Please know that we are thinking of you.
Stay safe, we stand with Israel! But does Biden?
The entire Middle East flipped on its ear after the US election. Most Israelis understand that the US under Obama and now Biden has not been a true friend. They are apologizing to Iran and scolding us for building apartment houses in Jerusalem. This isn’t a subtle thing. Most Biden supporters know what’s going on, including liberal American Jews, but being Jewish to them has very little to do with Israel or the Tanach. So if Israel suffers or collapses (which it won’t), that would be fine with them, a low priority if one at all.
Thanks for your prayers.