How do you respond to sirens?

Benseon in Jerusalem described the following scene

In the middle of the Alenu of Minchah on erev Shabbos the sirens sound in Jerusalem. Everyone in the shul stops davening and starts looking around unsure of where to go or what to do. Suddenly, someone starts shouting at the chazan telling him to finish Alenu so he can say kaddish! And then, while some of us are leaving the shul to go to the bomb shelter, the rest act as if nothing has happened and proceed with Kabbolos Shabbos!

I’m not quite sure whether they were realists and decided that the rockets from Gaza had little chance of reaching central Jerusalem, or if they had supreme emunah that HaShem would protect them from the rockets if they continued with their davening!

Suffice it to say, those of us who went to the shelter returned later on feeling a bit sheepish that we had missed half the davening!

The description was disturbing to me. Does “Emunah” mean that people make some judgement call on whether Hashem could not possibly allow a situation where Hamas terrorists procured and sent a missile that just happened to hit their shul?

Is this Emunah or arrogance? The Levush in Yoreh Deah 116 clearly understands that the command of

ונשמרתם מאוד לנפשותיכם

Includes the consideration of physical danger. This is only suspended for Avoda Zara, Giluy Arayos, and Shfichus Damim. In addition it has no place when one is involved in physically fighting in a Milchemes Mitzvah. I seem to recall there is a Tshuva from Reb Moshe about the danger of playing baseball … in case one gets hit in the head.

I don’t think there is a Mitzvah to become a statistic. Tefilla is important, but it would be a fool who assumed that Hashem couldn’t hear his Tefilla in a bunker or that saying Kaddish with a minyan was worth ignoring a directive from the IDF.

Those who returned may have felt sheepish, they would have felt very different if a (stray) missile had hit the Shule and their colleagues died.

Lack of Emunah? I think not. Perhaps those who chose not to run to the bunker have too much Emunah in the Iron Dome or the proclivities of Hamas.

Ask them if they got a Psak to ignore the siren. Do tell us which Posek answered them.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia although my views have naught​ to do with my employer. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

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