Shimon Apisdorf

A different people and a different 7th

We’re Different

The Jewish nation is different.

For us the very word seventh will never be the same because we are no longer the same people that existed before that first seventh.

Just like Shabbat is not another day more or less like the other six, but is something fundamentally different, the same is true for the nation of Israel. We’re different. Yes, we may have a seat at the UN, but we, and all those other seats, know that there is something different about our seat: It’s Jewish. Like our seventh day.

Our Calendar is Different

Just like we Jews are different, our relationship to the calendar and to events in our history is different. Many think that our national history began with the Exodus from Egypt, but that’s not quite the case, it began two weeks prior, with the inauguration of the Jewish calendar.

Our history as a nation did not begin with the commandments of the Paschal lamb or the eating of matzah. Our nation-centered history began with the commandment to forever sanctify each new month and thereby establish when the months would begin and on which day we would mark the seminal historic events that shape(d) the essence of who we are as a people. Even before the Exodus became essential to who we are, the very notion of the calendar, and time itself, became essential to who we are. From the moment all calendar dates were put in our hands, the Jewish national soul, historic events, and dates themselves, became intrinsically linked. For us dates are not numbers on a calendar, they are of our essence. The Hebrew word for “holiday” is encounter. The dates of our holidays aren’t just times to engage in common observances like kindling a menorah or sitting down to a Passover seder, they are profound encounters with moments that stir ever present dimensions within our collective heart, soul, and psyche. They deepen our inner connection to the spiritual genetic markers that make our nation, the Nation of Israel, different. We are our relationship to time, dates, and events.

Today Is Not April 7th

And so today, for us alone, it’s not April 7th, and it never will be.

For thousands of years, we have been remembering, reliving, and reencountering the meaning of days and events. It’s not just that we don’t forget events of the past, we never stop deepening our connection to the inner, formative meaning of those events, and those events never stop redesigning who we are.

As our history progresses, new events and new dates literally become part of our core identity.

And so today is not April 7th.

Every Jew already knows that Simchat Torah will never be the same because we will never be the same. Every Jew already knows that October 7th will never be the same because on that day our history, and our soul, forever shifted. From now on, every year, a new encounter awaits us.

Similarly, every Jew knows that for years and generations to come, the 7th of every month will never be the same, because the very word seventh now has a different sort of resonance; a haunting echo, an eerie inner melody that plays, and scratches along the strings of our collective heart.

As Jews, and most acutely as Israeli Jews, today isn’t April 7th, it’s the sixth 7th since October. A lot has happened in the six months since we started experiencing 7th’s, though even more hasn’t happened.

We haven’t breathed the same these last six 7th’s. Even more so today, because today is a 7th.

Our hostages have been brutalized, raped, starved, and tortured every second of every minute of every hour of every day for six months.

Our hearts have not beat the same way for six months and six 7th’s.

Our thoughts have been racing and haunting us, for six 7th’s.

Our souls have suffered the shattering evil of Hamas and it’s vicious Gazan handmaids for every minute of every day for six months.

Our tears have been ambushing us for six months that feel like six days, or perhaps six years.

Our commitment to unity has been unflinching for six months. Even more so today. We pray.

And as for the rest of those UN seats: Every day for six 7th’s, “the world” could have unanimously and loudly demanded—demanded!—that Hamas stop raping women, stop training it’s soldiers to behead parents in front of children, and stop calling for Jihad against Jewish Israel and the Christian West, but it hasn’t done so. Not even for one 7th of one day.

And As For Us

As for us, that familiar on-our-own reality echoes louder and louder with each day and each 7th.

And as for us, our reality becomes clearer and clearer with each day and each 7th.

And as for us; our calendar, our history, our life, our country, our nation, and our soul will never be the same again. Ever. Because this different sort of people doesn’t just mark days, dates, and events in a different way, it becomes fundamentally different because of them.

In memory of our son’s best friend, David Newman, whose cold-blooded murder on
October 7th made the Jihad butchers and their proud families celebrate.

In honor of David’s still recovering fiancé; beautiful, precious Noam, who, despite being shot, escaped rape by hiding silently beneath a pile of corpses.

Dedicated to all the soldiers; young, middle-aged, and even old. Men and women. And to their spouses, children, and families. Because without them, the rest of us are mere prey for the Jihad driven sadists of Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah and all the other happy-go-lucky decapitators that roam the Middle East.

Recognizing Soldiers Save Lives, a remarkable effort launched on October 8th by five guys who quit their jobs to bring plane loads of life-saving gear and humanitarian aid to Israel. Because when you rush into a war zone to find your missing friend and his fiancé, and all you find is a body, that’s what you do.

Am Yisrael Chai.

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. The Apisdorf's made Aliyah in the summer of 2012.