Tali Gilberg

A State of Mourning

The communities of Kibbutz Erez and Kibbutz Or HaNer celebrating the holiday of Shavuot in May 2022. The photo has been superimposed with the Hebrew saying "I have no other country".

I’m mourning.

I’ve been in a state of mourning for more than a month now.

I’m mourning the loss of my friend, my neighbors, my coworker’s parents, my friends׳ friends and extended family…I’m mourning the murders of my people, my nation.

I’m mourning the loss of my former self, the former sense of security in Israel and the diaspora, and the former state of Israel. I’m mourning my former innocence; the former dream of peace and coexistence.

I’m mourning former friendships. My former allegiance and belief in the “left” has been shattered. The double standard and gaslighting is deafening. I’m mourning my former faith in humanity. This is not a resistance…it’s murder, rape. The burning of homes and innocent civilians and kidnapping is not a form of resistance or military combat. Being a Jew in 2023 should not equate to hiding in libraries, experiencing school and synagogue lockdowns, being hunted in airports, or assaulted in the streets.

So I remind myself I must speak up!

I’m speaking up for the ones who are no longer with us.

המלאכים השומרים שלנו

I’m speaking up for the ones who can’t be heard…we just pray they stay alive.

החטופים שלנו

I’m speaking up for those affected who aren’t yet ready to speak.

הפצועים שלנו

I continue to dream. I dream the world will wake up. I dream that “the haters” — the antisemitic people around the world — will one day be educated enough and understand that my people have a right to exist; to live in and defend our land. The Jewish people are indigenous to the land of Israel —fact.

I dream the “left” will understand that I’m not a part of a nation, army, or government that is committing a genocide. According to the UN, genocide is defined as of “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” In no way shape or form does the state of Israel or the Jewish diaspora wish to erase the Palestinian people. And I condemn the Jews that seek harm on Palestinians, and Islamophobia as a whole. But my people have a right to defend ourselves.

The atrocities that occurred on October 7, 2023 can never happen again. Hamas needs to be destroyed. How can people call for a ceasefire when there was a ceasefire in place the morning of Oct. 7th. It was Hamas who broke that ceasefire. Think about that for a minute. And they have broken ceasefires over and over again. I repeat, Jews will no longer go like sheep to their slaughter. We will not have a ceasefire until Hamas is eradicated and we #BringThemHome.

Hamas doesn’t just harm Israelis, they endanger their own people, the Palestinian people. If Hamas had used all the Humanitarian aid received since 2007, they could have been the next Dubai. Instead, they diverted these funds to further destruction on all sides.

We, the Jewish people, 0.2% of the world population, simply want to live our lives. We are taught to be kind, caring, peaceful and charitable members of society. We want to keep our culture and traditions. We want to grow and succeed as a nation.

We want to live in peace with our neighbors. We want the Palestinian people to recognize our existence and choose to live in peace as well.

עם ישראל חי



About the Author
Tali Gilberg made Aliyah and moved to Kibbutz Erez soon after graduating from Rutgers University in 2019. She was a Lone Soldier in Dover Tzahal. Following her army service she worked as a content creator and video editor. On October 7, 2023, she was home on Kibbutz Erez and survived.