While Islamic Jihad sent 450 rockets over cities in Israel, allow me to share how this personally hit me – a psychiatrist in practice in Jerusalem – during one single day last week.

My day began a bit differently when at morning prayers, we said extra Psalms to protect our fellow Jews in the South as well as in Tel Aviv where rockets had fallen. I had yet to check the news and was nervous to hear that it was starting again.

When I returned home, my wife told me that the kids would still have school that day although she was concerned because many other schools in neighboring regions had been cancelled. Concerns of traveling on the roads while rockets were falling would affect the transit systems and I drove my children to school instead of letting them take the bus.

I received my first cancellation message from a patient living in Ramat Gan – a city adjacent to Tel Aviv – where they’d been told to stay in shelters and not to leave at the current time. I’d receive three such messages that day.

With some extra time given the pending no-show, I decided to check in with a colleague who lives in Ashkelon. He was too busy to accept my call as he runs an emergency psychiatric intervention service called a “psycho-trauma unit” that meets with shock victims on site after missile and other terrorist attacks. He did send me a thumbs-up emoji: “Busy day but we’ll be fine -- God loves us.”

I saw a patient who was 126 days sober who told me that the rockets made him want to drink to fix his anxiety, but he was needed as a paramedic. He laughed it off nervously as best he could but we both knew it was as a reasonable fear and made a plan to check in daily. He would message me later that week that he his sister had been hit with broken glass from an explosion but he was still sober at day 128.

I received a call from a Chassidic man who needed an urgent appointment for panic attacks. His sister had been killed in a suicide bombing years ago and after hearing about the rockets falling in his home town, he had become incapacitated with anxiety and needed a psychiatrist immediately. I was free since a patient from Tel Aviv – who was stuck in a bomb shelter – had to cancel at that hour. The patient showed up with one of his grandsons. I took a history, we did some deep breathing and mindfulness exercises, and he began to relax. When we finished the 50-minute session he was significantly calmer and we scheduled a follow up for later in the week.

As I walked the patient and his grandson to the door, they looked at the olive tree outside of my building and he said, “This olive tree has seen many droughts, torrential rains, and other challenges, but it’s still here.”

He was right. The tree was at least 200 years old and certainly older than any building on my block.

The man continued, “This is why our sages compare the Jewish people to olive oil. No matter what kind of ways the world tries to flip us up and down, we always come out on top. And even better than that, we stay together!”