Our oldest grandson was born in Jerusalem during Chanukah of 1990. Thirty days later was his Pidyon Haben (ceremonial "Redemption of the Firstborn"). It was also the start of the first Gulf War.

As a new Savta (Grandma), I came from Canada to meet my grandson several days before the Gulf War. My daughter presented me with a gas mask. She told me that the government was expecting Saddam to start sending scuds any day and there were regulations that I had to know and follow.

So started my experiences with living in a war zone.

I remember the first time the siren went off. It was in the middle of the night...I remember the first time the siren went off. It was in the middle of the night. I was sharing a room with my other daughter. I jumped out of bed so fast, grabbed my gas mask that was sitting on a table next to the bed and my prayer book. We had about 45 seconds to get into our safe room—my daughter and son-in-law's tiny bedroom.

In this room were my daughter and son-in-law, my other daughter, and my newborn grandson in some sort of tent that was the protection for babies. I put on my mask and my son-in-law adjusted it for me. I felt like I was being smothered. The chin strap was cutting my throat and it was hard to speak. I tried to pray but couldn't, because the part for the eyes was too wide and didn't allow me to read. The room felt like it was closing in on me.

The safe room was nothing like it is today. In those days all you did was cover the windows with heavy plastic and masking tape. On the floor, you put a wet towel by the door. We spent hours in this room until we got the all clear siren.

In the meantime, my husband and son were in Canada, worrying day and night. It took several hours to call Israel or for me to call Canada, and when we finally got through, we were usually cut off a minute or two later.

This scenario repeated itself daily. When it was time for me to go back to Canada and leave my family in Israel, I was very scared for them. My son-in-law was expecting to be called up to the army and that would have left my daughter alone with a new baby. When my son-in-law drove me to the airport we had to travel with our gas masks. He gave me instructions not to sit near any windows in the airport.

Now it is many years later and we live in Netivot...

Over the past couple of years, Netivot has been on the receiving end of grad missiles. In the beginning, Hamas could only reach the outer outskirts of the city, so they didn't send too many rockets, just enough to let us know that they were around. This was more of a nuisance than anything else. But today, the situation has totally changed.

Now that Hamas has perfected their missiles and can shoot them further, we are receiving more attacks. Netivot has had some serious injuries and damage. Netivot has also had one death.

It is very hard to explain the stress one feels living under the threat of the air raid siren going offIt is very hard to explain the stress one feels living under the threat of the air raid siren going off, rushing to the safe room and waiting for the boom.

It is not scary to hear the siren, it's the anticipation of if and when the siren will go off that causes the anxiety.

My husband has been driving for fifty years. We come from Montreal and he has driven in the worst winter weather. Our son was in Gush Etzion visiting his sister and her family all week and the plan was for us to go for Shabbat and we would all come home together.

I can't tell you how stressed out he was about driving. The main route to the Gush is through all the cities and towns where the kassams and grad missiles were landing. At one point, he considered sending a taxi to pick up our son. He changed his mind so many times about driving.

The fact that he was stressed out about driving made him more stressful. My husband has a heart condition and seeing him so stressful only made me stressful. It was really a catch 22.

The kassams and grads have also cost my livelihood. I teach English at home and my students are not coming. What parent would want to risk taking their children out for a lesson when a siren could ring at any time?

Doing daily everyday activities are also a challenge. When my husband walks the dog a couple of times a day in an open area, he worries what he will do if the siren goes off when he is walking. He won't let me walk the dog because he says that he can come home faster.

Going shopping for groceries or just window shopping and having to wait for the bus is another stressful activity. We can't even just go for a relaxing walk.

How many rockets have been sent during the night determines whether there is going to be mail delivery in the morning.

Just window shopping or having to wait for the bus is another stressful activityLast week we were waiting for three very important envelopes. We hadn't had any delivery for a day or two. Finally, my husband spoke to our mail lady and she told him that she had the three envelopes in the sorting office, but didn't know if there would be any delivery that day. My husband arranged to go and pick up our mail at the post office. Just another stressful situation.

When you don't sleep all night because your sleep has been disturbed by either the siren going off or the booming from the army, you feel "bugged out" all day. After this happens for many nights, it is difficult to function during the day. Lately, I have missed so many full nights of sleep.

We all have our own levels of stress and fear. We learn that G‑d never gives us more stressful situations than one can handle. I pray that G‑d helps me and my family handle this stressful situation.

May G‑d guide our government to make wise discussions, protect our brave soldiers and brings them home safely.