This is not what we signed up for. When we moved to Yerushalayim and settled among our many American compatriots in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood, a calm and idyllic first few kollel years is what we had in mind, far from the “dangerous” areas of Eretz Yisrael.

Yet in the past two weeks we have learned to live with the violent riots in our backyard, the constant barrage of tear- gas grenades, and the 24/7 sound of police helicopters circling overhead. We are cautious when we go out, our children are thrilled when they hear the booms of the “fireworks,” and following the choppers in the sky has provided endless entertainment for our aviation-crazed son. We say our Tehillim and believe we are doing our hishtadlus, yet we were at a loss for words to explain to our four-year-old why we have to run down to a bomb shelter in the middle of the night, without traumatizing him.

However, there is a certain pride in the achdus that we feel as we hunker down with our spouses and children in that bomb shelter. No matter where we are and whatever the situation may be, Klal Yisrael is united and Avinu ShebaShamim is watching over us. That’s what we tell our children. That’s what all of us signed up for.