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The Siren (Tzfira) = הצפירה

Here is my personal (very private and Israeli) point of view, trying to explain this unique moment:

It's hard to put into words.

The confusion starts even before the day itself –

“When exactly is it?” “In the morning or evening?” “At 10:00? 11:00?”

Everything revolves around the siren that marks the beginning of the two-minute


Meetings may be postponed,

Pilates classes canceled,

and the music in cafes is turned off.

“It's also important to explain to children the difference between a siren and an alarm,

especially this year” their teacher says.

In the few minutes before the siren begins, practice what to think.

Finish eating,

Place the coffee cup and straighten your shirt.

Think about where to stand.

When the siren starts, stop your car on the side and stand still.

You have been doing this since you were a child.

It is a sacred moment.


What do you think about?

Where do you look?

Who and what comes to mind at that moment?

Don't think about everyday life, don't laugh or frown.

The dogs howl and the birds chirp as usual.

There is a beautiful, yet sad silence.

 “It rained today, how strange...” >> I immediately remind myself to stay focused on the task at hand and avoid unrelated thoughts!!!!

Faces and pictures from the past come up,

And new names too,

The essence of Israel's existence.

When will the siren stop and who will break the cycle?

Is this a positive or negative event?


Somewhere at this moment, my children are standing still.

One is nearly eight years old, while the other is a tiny four-year-old.

I worry that he must be scared.

They're all dressed in white shirts, and the silence is horrifying.

They bow their heads, as I do, and wait.

"I'll think about Buffy (our dog who died this year) to be sad," my 8 YO told me.

"You can think about everyone you love," I told her.

 "Think we are all standing together at the siren."



Bow your head




To postpone



1 Comment

Ruti Eastman
Ruti Eastman
May 07

Wow! I love this very much! What an "only in Israel," yet universally Jewish, experience. Thank you for putting it so beautifully.

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