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Pulled Back to Black: 10/7/23

Pulled Back to Black: 10/7/23

By Shimon Apisdorf



Black to there.

We keep getting pulled back.

Back. Back.

Black to there.

We keep getting pulled back.

Back to October 7th. Back to that black fire. On white fire. Simchat Torah fire.

That Sabbath. That day that wasn’t.  A day at all.

No. No.

Not far at all.

Not pulled back very far at all.

Step after step after step.

Endless hour upon endless hour …

Taken aback. Snatched aback.

Day after day after day.

Day 8. Day 18. Day #36. Day #Chanukah. Day 54. Day 72. To Day #90.

And on and on and on. Still. Pulled back.

Black to there.

Pulled back. Dragged back. Astonished back.

There. Over the great, gaping gorge. The ever-deepening chasm of stormy tears—of hearts torn apieces—morning after morning after morning.

HashTag. Me too.

Oh unless you happen to be a Jew. Girl.


Pulled black to tomorrow.

And too …

Heroism that will cry and echo and inspire for months and centuries to come. When all else fails and fades into the coarse sand of endless footnotes; footnotes of lost op-eds, lifeless tweets, tickless toks, and parading pundits. Like me.

Pulled back.

We keep getting pulled black to a hollow place in time. A face and time, frozen in place, and in our scalded throats. Since then, oh, we’ve traveled so far. As far as the journey from one’s toe to one’s heel.

Aikev-heel. Tishmaun-hear? Do we hear? Dear wurld. Do you?

It’s not there.         It’s here.

It’s not then.                    It’s now.

It’s not a hostage.            It’s a child.

It’s not a hostage!            It’s a grandfather!

It’s not them.                   It’s us.

It’s not a heart.                It’s broken.

It’s not mine.                   It’s ours.

It’s not war.                     It’s family.

It’s not timron.                It’s neshamot.

It’s not graspable.            It’s katonti.

It’s not love.                    It’s Love.

It’s not eternity.               It’s this eternal moment.

Dor dor v’dorshav.         Every generation in one pulled black instant.

Each and every one of us. Each a glimmering, baffled, staggered star. Yachad: Together. Only together. A six-dimensional conundrum fighting in the enigma laden alleyways of a man-crafted, hand-crafted hell into which we were bidden to fall. Into something called “rape,” that isn’t. Something called “murdered,” that isn’t. Something called pogromed, that isn’t. Something called Apartheid and genocide that isn’t! Something that is an SJP, Ivy Weed, Con! text.

Something that is.

Jewish. Girl. In a tank.

Something as far off as tales of Pharoah and Esther, and as close as a child dancing towards a father’s embrace after Day #90. Day #1. Pulled back and swept up in strong wearied arms. Arms that may no longer be there at all.

לא יישא גוי אל גוי חרב ולא ילמדו עוד מלחמה.

No longer will nation lift up.

Sword against nation.

Nor study.

war. anymore.

No. No.

No longer—and Never Again—will they build tunnel shaped, hate-tipped, jihadi spears of demented death.

No. No.

No longer will they study—study! The akbar of war.


Pulled Black.

The 7th is yesterday. And there is yet no room for a psychic space in time between that 7th, this 7th, and more to come.

Not until the 7th day that we zachor, on our seventh day, is once again: Sanctified.

We keep getting pulled back.

Back. Back.

Black to there.

In memory of David Newman.

Last seen by Noam, his forever wounded wife to be, as a Nuchba huntsman shot his heart out at point blank range.

Dovid Yair Shalom Neman ben Moshe Meir and Chaya z”l.

And in honor of the back to there brethren of Soldiers Save Lives.

Pulled Back to Black: 10/7/23

About the Author

Shimon Apisdorf is the founder of Operation Home Again, the first organization solely devoted to community-based Aliyah. He has also authored ten books that have sold over a quarter million copies and have won two Benjamin Franklin awards.

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