No stranger to the almost daily Palestinian rocket attacks that have crippled the Israeli desert town of Sderot, Rabbi Moshe Ze'ev Pizem has gotten quite used to comforting families whose homes have been destroyed and whose family members have been injured or killed.

But even Pizem, the director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Sderot, was not prepared for the latest salvo: While he taught a class before Shabbat morning services on Saturday, a Kassam rocket, fired by Palestinian squads just kilometers away in the Gaza Strip, landed in his own backyard.

The ordinance landed at 8:15 a.m., shortly after Pizem began his regular Shabbat morning class in Chasidic thought, damaging the building. No one was injured.

"The Kassam hit 15 to 20 meters away from the building," said the rabbi. "It hit very, very hard; there was a very strong pressure blast."

Glass shattered in all directions, and the lights went out in the synagogue. But the damage was worse at the day care center on the other side of the yard, which was empty in deference to the Jewish day of rest.

More than 150 Kassam rockets and dozens of mortar shells landed in Sderot last week, sending many families packing towards locations farther in Israel's interior.

Although Sderot resembles something of a ghost town now, Pizem and his wife Sima – along with his brother and sister-in-law, Rabbi Chananel and Tzvia Pizem – stayed behind in order to offer support to those who remained.

"Thank G‑d, no one was hurt," said Pizem. "There's normally a lot of children in that building during the week."

Pizem said that it took a long time for the four people who had come to the class to calm down.

"The Kassam was so powerful," he said, "It takes a while to digest the reality that we are living through."

After much discussion, everyone's nerves tempered by some food, the class continued. The morning prayers began "very, very late," he said.