"Mommy, what's that siren?"
"Don't worry, it's not shabbos now. It's a different siren."
I hope she won't ask, I hope she won't ask... but she does.
"So why are they making it?"
"Well, Sroch, some yidden decided that today would be a good day to remember the chayalim, the soldiers, who were hurt or died to protect yidden. So they have a siren to remind them that they want to remember the chayalim."
"Why do we have chayalim?"
Do I have to? Do I have to hurt her safe world-view, her peace?
Yes. Yes, I have to.
So, gently, I say, "You're very smart, right? You already learned so much about Chanuka, and Purim and Pesach? Right you know that Antiochus was bad, and wanted to hurt yidden, and Achashverosh and Haman were bad, and wanted to hurt yidden, and Paroh too, right? Well, even today, there are people who want to hurt the yidden. So that's why we have chalayim, to fight for us, to stop the bad people. Hashem is the one who lets them win, of course, but we have chayalim to fight for us."
Untroubled, Sroch says, factually, confidently, "But Hashem doesn't let yidden not win! Because we're tzadikim!"
Mommy stops to catch her breath because she's crying so hard.
"Srochel love, you're right, Hashem will never let all the yidden die, Hashem will never let all the yidden go away. Never ever. But... but sometimes, sometimes some of the chayalim, sometimes some of us get hurt or even die." Collect myself for a moment. "But no, Hashem will never let the yidden all die."
"Right, because even when we die, we're not really dead, we're just not in this world, we're not dead we're just in shamayim."
And she smiles at me, and curls up in bed, peacefully, because there's nothing to be afraid of. A siren at bedtime isn't something scary.
Hashem will always make the yidden win, and we will never die.