This piece is part of our Wit­ness­ing series, which shares pieces from Israeli authors and authors in Israel, as well as the expe­ri­ences of Jew­ish writ­ers around the globe in the after­math of Octo­ber 7th.

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.

How to plant

in one’s heart 

that his future 

was not axed 

on that holiday 

How to explain 

a leaf 

a tree trunk 

a branch 

can be burnt 

even a root 

can be 


But seeds of promise 

like the stars 

like light


in the heart of 

a nation 

who knows 

the taste of 

sour grapes 

Can­not be 

weed­ed out. 

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.

Tama­rah Tou­vian was born in the US and raised in Israel where she com­plet­ed her stud­ies in Edu­ca­tion and bible stud­ies. She has been teach­ing Bible, Jew­ish stud­ies, Hebrew lan­guage and lit­er­a­ture, and aspects of Israeli cul­ture and soci­ety since 1995 to present.Tamarah returned to the US in 2005 and cur­rent­ly resides in Con­necti­cut with her fam­i­ly. Her first book of poet­ry, Path­ways, was pub­lished in Hebrew in Israel in 2022