This piece is one of an ongo­ing series that we will be shar­ing in the com­ing days from Israeli authors and authors in Israel.

It is crit­i­cal to under­stand his­to­ry not just through the books that will be writ­ten lat­er, but also through the first-hand tes­ti­monies and real-time account­ing of events as they occur. At Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, we under­stand the val­ue of these writ­ten tes­ti­mo­ni­als and of shar­ing these indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ences. It’s more impor­tant now than ever to give space to these voic­es and narratives. 

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, JBI is record­ing writ­ers’ first-hand accounts, as shared with and pub­lished by JBC, to increase the acces­si­bil­i­ty of these accounts for indi­vid­u­als who are blind, have low vision or are print disabled. 

Some­times when the soul screams in pain,

only silence comes out.

How loud is the destruc­tion that emanates from the freez­ing of words.

A for­eign land of still glac­i­ers, an end­less scorch­ing sand desert,

a silent ocean in the depth where the col­or of the water changes from blue

to black.

In the land of silence, every­thing stands still,

maybe time freezes too,

wait­ing for a sound, a voice,

wait­ing for words, to know that dan­ger has passed.

Cry­ing will have to be the first words.

Just like babies, we will have to cry to be able to believe in the world again, to cre­ate a world again.

We will have to weep, howl.

Then maybe frag­ment­ed words will come.

Sen­tences will take a long time.

In a for­eign land where every­thing has frozen, one small piece of God’s land will remain,

for our children.

Noth­ing will freeze there, there will be no silence,

there, the sea will remain blue and the sand will not become a burn­ing desert.

Only there and with them will we find words,

sim­ple words,

of nor­mal­i­ty, routine.

We will talk gently,

to be precise.

We will ask and listen.

We will smile, hug.

As before the bane of humanity.

We will pro­tect them

from the pain of the scream­ing silence,

from the loss for words.

We will grind our teeth, bite our lips, bleed

and remem­ber good words of love that will tell them scary bed­time sto­ries, with hap­py endings.

Chil­dren will have no entry to the frozen land of silence.

And they will write on the tablets of their hearts,

A dis­tant secure memory,

of these days of thun­der­ing war,

in one dif­fer­ent autumn,

mem­o­ry of alarms,


with moth­ers whis­per­ing, sooth­ing and hugging,

moth­ers who could not find words or smiles.

Except when talk­ing to their children.

The views and opin­ions expressed above are those of the author, based on their obser­va­tions and experiences.

Sup­port the work of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and become a mem­ber today.

Einat Nathan has a BA in law from Tel Aviv Uni­ver­si­ty, and has been cer­ti­fied by the Adler Insti­tute and the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion for Parental Instruc­tion and Group Instruc­tion. She lives in Tel Aviv with her hus­band Yuval, and her five chil­dren Eyal, Yoav, Lihi, Rona, and Shira.