All posts tagged: loss of an entire world

Two Jewish Writers, a Bottle of Whiskey, and a Post–October 7 Reality

Two Jewish Writers, a Bottle of Whiskey, and a Post–October 7 Reality

Hamas’s attack on October 7 had the effect of stopping time. Many Israelis and concerned Jews I’ve spoken with describe a day that has not yet ended for them—a continuous nightmare from which they can’t wake, a reality compounded by the knowledge that so many of the kidnapped are still in captivity. The fiercist critics of Israel’s actions over the past three months don’t want to hear, let alone acknowledge, these feelings, because the weeks of ongoing death and destruction in Gaza have erased for them the hours of rampant torture and rape and murder that preeceded them. Understandable though this reaction might be, it ignores the sense of rupture that many Jews now feel. In the weeks just after the attack, this was the dilemma I faced. Attuned to Palestinian suffering, I didn’t want to lose my ability to take in what happened that day—the concepts and sureties it shook loose, the troubling questions it prompted about the Jewish condition. And so I did what I always do in moments when human complexity threatens …