4 Weeks Later, I Am Constantly Reminded That Never Again is Now

November 17, 2023
Abby Thaler

Freehold, New Jersey, United States

Class of 2025

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As of Saturday, November 4th, it has been 28 days since Hamas first launched their attack on Israel. I have heard many others say just that the attack is what we, as Jewish teens, will remember for the rest of our lives, as those older than us remember 9/11, we will all remember where we were, what we were doing, all of that. 

For me, I woke up early on Saturday, October 7th, because, as most high school juniors do, I was taking the SAT. I do not remember much of that morning; I think I have kind of blocked it out, but what I do remember is seeing the New York Times notifications about what had gone on, but as I now regret, I ignored them in hopes of being able to separate the tragedy and take the SAT. I also started seeing the influx of Instagram story posts, but as I did with the notifications, I ignored them and hoped whatever was going on would be quickly resolved. 

I then sat for a 3-hour test, in which I tried fruitlessly not to think about what could have happened. Of course, the worst filled my head, but I took the test and not so patiently waited to get my phone back to see what exactly had happened. The worst did not even begin to describe what I saw, it stays in my head even four weeks later. Three days later, I had an article posted to The Shofar because it felt like one of the few things I could control.

Still, there are nights when I won’t be able to sleep, and I simply cannot do anything about it. As a 16-year-old Jewish teen, the atrocities of October 7th and the events that followed continue to consume my every thought. I do not remember what I thought about before, and I do not think I will ever get back to that. I envy those who go on and pretend that this did not happen. But as the Jewish people, we know that this unfortunately happened to all of us, and it will continue to consume our lives.

I am consumed by every breath I take, every thought I have, and every time I close my eyes. There are over one thousand four hundred Israelis who are no longer able to do these basic things. And so, even though I do not know anyone who was directly harmed by the massacre, I do. I mourn for them, we mourn for them, we say, “May their memories be a blessing,” because we don’t know what else we really can do. 

Overall, there are plenty of people who are against us, but, as a people, we are stronger than them, and we will fight for as long as we have to because Israel and the Jewish community are worth it. I am reminding myself of two things during this time, the first is that as a Jewish people, we survive, it is what we do, we survived enslavement in Egypt, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Holocaust, to name a few, but there are many more. The second is the Hebrew phrase “Gam zeh ya’avor,” this too shall pass. This phrase became popularized by King Solomon, who wore a ring with the letters gimmel, zayen, and yud, which reminded him to have faith that we overcome. As a people, we overcome, I try my very best each day to not let myself forget this.

This too shall pass, Gam Zeh Ya’Avor

Abby Thaler is a BBG living in Freehold, New Jersey, and she loves sparkling strawberry guava celsius.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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