This picture was taken by Hillel Fuld on the Tel Aviv highway this morning. There are so many elements of this picture that should be seen. The most obvious is the woman crouched on the side protecting her head, covering her ears. Such fear, such tension can be seen.
But look beyond to the cars on the right. See the car with the open door? And further up - another car where the driver flung open the door and ran out of the car.
This is one of the most crowded, used highways into Israel. It connects Jerusalem in the east, to Tel Aviv on the shores of the Mediterranean and then turns north, through the bustling city of Tel Aviv and onwards.
But look again at the cars on the right - near the second car with the open door there's a car angled sideways...here too, this is an indication of the speed with which you must abandon your car and run to safety...you have 60-90 seconds from the time they launch the rocket and you've likely lost at least 10 of those seconds just in the notification process. In Sderot, they have a mere 15 seconds. Where can you run in 15 seconds? And if you have a child in the car? Or, can you imagine...two children in the car? It would take that long just to unbuckle their seat belts!
And the people on the side, pressed against the wall...they are doing it wrong. What they are supposed to do is lay down on the ground, stretched flat. Were a missile to hit, it will spread shrapnel far and wide in all directions, calculated to do the most damage it can do. By lying on the ground and covering your head, it is hoped the force of the impact will propel the shrapnel above and over where you are.
This is Israel today - many of these people are on their way to work. Tel Aviv is Israel's main center of research and development, of hi-tech inventions that dazzle the world, entertain, and heal.
But right now, our greatest invention is the Iron Dome, which now covers all of Israel. It is an amazing device invented and continually upgraded by Israeli genius (and yes, with the kind financial assistance of the United States). This morning on the radio, a Colonel was being interviewed and he was talking about Iron Dome...which shot down the rocket that caused the siren that sent these people to the side of the road. I was touched and amazed by the word that the Colonel used - "Kadosh" - holy.
The work of the Iron Dome is holy because it saves lives and that, above all else, is what we cherish here in Israel.
Thanks again to Hillel for allowing me to share his photo. Stay safe...