A few days ago, a friend and I were browsing around a home goods store, an act of normalcy during a very abnormal time. A mattress protector in the bedding department caught my friend’s eye and, knowing that I’m a sucker for typos in English—which are entertainingly rampant in Israel—she showed me the packaging. Underneath the photo of a beaming family of four, the text read: “Protects you from your own mattress.”

Great, I thought, we’re not only in need of protection from Hamas missiles here. It turns out our very own mattresses are after us, too.

I live in central southern Israel, and we experience an average We experience an average of three siren warnings a dayof three siren warnings a day, not to mention the countless booms of Iron Dome missile interceptions. In our home, we don’t have a mamad, a safe room, so when the siren wails, we run to the enclave under our staircase. We apparently have 90 seconds to get there, not an easy feat at 6 AM with five children sleeping soundly in their beds. My 22-month-old has grown accustomed to wedging himself between his siblings under the stairs, and just yesterday formed his very first sentence: “Boom boom uh-oh ay yai yai.”

It’s heartbreaking, really, but it’s also kind of funny.

Funny? Well, you see, my way of coping with this pervasive war is to search for the humor in every nook and cranny, typo and toddler.

You don’t need me to tell you there’s nothing funny about war. But that’s precisely why we need to make fun of it sometimes. Humor helps us escape from the bitter pill of war, if only for a few minutes.

It took me several days of wondering what I could do to help my fellow Jews, aside from saying some extra prayers and putting a few more coins in the pushka (charity box). Then the idea hit me like a Kassam. I am a medical and professional clown, and I was specifically trained to aim a missile of light into hospital wards, battered women’s shelters and nursing homes. If there was ever a situation that warranted clowning around, this war would be it. I plan to entertain children in my city, and hopefully in other locations, in the coming weeks. My clown colleagues are doing the same, bringing the gift of comic relief to Am Yisrael.

Mitzvah gedolah lihyot b’simchah. It’s a great mitzvah to be happy. Running for cover during a siren is not a simchah-inducing act, and keeping a calm demeanor for the children gets trickier with each passing A kind word, a smile and a laugh are healingday. (A few days ago, my son came home from school after a siren and excitedly reported that part of an intercepted missile fell near the main Chabad shul. Um, cool?)

Yet G‑d gave us the tools to bring joy to the world. A kind word, a smile and a laugh are healing not only to each of our own individual souls; they’re the best salve for our collective one as well.

May we merit times of only simchah and laughter, speedily in our days.