Shimon Apisdorf

Dear Mr. Jihad: Where is Shlomi and how are you?

October 6, 2023

Dear Mr. Jə-‘häd / Ji-had / Jihad:

As you know, Ji-had is Islamic holy war waged against the enemies of Islam, like Christians and Jews, for the purpose of establishing a global Caliphate under the banner of Islam. Israel is surrounded by, and under attack from, an alliance of Jihad driven forces that have no interest in Palestinians or a Palestinian state, and every interest in destroying the Jewish state. Those forces are led by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and include Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood-Islamic Resistance Movement), Hezbollah (Party of Allah), Palestinian Islamic Jihad (no translation needed), the Houthis (Supporters of Allah), and others. The Houthi slogan tells it like it is: “Allah is the greatest. Death to America. Death to Israel. A curse upon the Jews. Victory to Islam.” Personally Mr. Jihad, I like it when my enemies are unambiguous about who they are and what they are trying to achieve. Makes things nice and clear. Jə-‘häd, Ji-had, and more Jihad. If I missed anything, please respond and let me know. 

June 7, 2024

Dear Mr. Jihad:

Thank you for your candid, if brutal response to my existence.

As you know, the Jews of Israel, whom your holy books and preachers refer to as monkeys and pigs, are committed to killing you before you Jihad all our heads off. While you and I are crystal clear about what’s going on, and what’s about to go down, I want to make sure that everyone else is clear as well. Because as that Khomeini guy liked to say, once you finish with the Little Satan of Israel, you’re going after the Big Uncle Sam Satan of America.

Part I: Let’s Do Something

The purpose of this piece is to familiarize people with what’s taking place in Israel’s north, in a town called Shlomi, and why war with Hezbollah and Iran is on the horizon.

Seven Months Since Shlomi

Seven months ago, I had to see for myself. . .

So I drove up to our northern border;

to see for myself.

The army wouldn’t let me into Rosh Hanikra. “Try Shlomi,” a young soldier suggested. I continued further along the road, Lebanese border to my left, until I came to Shlomi, a lovely, quiet, pastoral town of 7,500 Jewish souls.

It was so quiet that day.

So peaceful.

Because no one was home, literally.

In the entire town I found only one person, Yacov, if I remember correctly. He was doing renovations on his felafel shop. You know, optimistic; optimistic that soon everyone would return home, “that this would all be behind us, that things would return to normal, that . . .”

That what?


What the hell has happened?!

Imagine if in the course of a few days all the Jews of Baltimore were suddenly homeless. Or all the Jews of St. Louis, Detroit, and Dallas: suddenly homeless. That’s precisely what Mr. Jihad has done to Israel.

That’s the north!

Our north!

Your north!

Imagine if the northern border of the United States, “just” the stretch from Chicago to Erie, was uninhabitable because of a daily “trickle” of missiles from Canada.

That’s northern Israel today.


Strolling through Shlomi today is like strolling through the Hollywood set of an old abandoned town. You know. Tumbleweeds blowing through the deserted streets. A dog howling in the distance.


The voice trails off.

While in Shlomi that day, the siren sounded. I laid down next to a low stone wall.

A dog barked.

Fifteen seconds later: Boom!

The mortar hit across the road, in the empty hills. It was just a mortar.

The ground barely shook, and the smell from the explosion didn’t linger in the air for more than a few minutes.

I got up and continued my walk through a ghost town called Shlomi.

As the late Israeli poet Chaim Gouri said—

שלומי כשלום עמי.

-(היום אני אומר שאפשר להגיד גם הפוך-)

שלום עמי, כשלומי.

The poet said, “Shlomi?” Which means, “How am I?”

And he answered then, as do we all today.

“I’m no different from my nation.”


June 12, 2024

Dear Mr. Jihad:

I know you’re itching to see more of us fleeing our flaming homes, but I’m warning you …

Shlomi: Eight Months Later . . .

Now I’m at Moshav Amka, fifteen miles south of Shlomi. North, but not north enough to be evacuated, yet.

Today, Let’s Do Something (formerly Soldiers Save Lives), in partnership with Israel Support Bridge, is hosting a wonderful event for hundreds of children and their parents.

All of them from Shlomi, sort of.

It’s been eight months since the peaceful Jewish souls from the peaceful town of Shlomi have had much shalom in their lives. Like tens of thousands of other families from what is now the deserted north of Israel, these people are now displaced refugees.

Jews have once again been driven from their homes, and are wondering.

From hotel to hotel.

From a friends place to an uncle’s place, to…


To what the hell has happened?

In Shlomi.

My peace? Our peace, you ask?

Yes, we’ve lost the north. It’s that simple.

The beautiful north of our beautiful land is now virtually judenrein.

Oh the north is as beautiful as ever, though much of its lush landscape, and some of Israel’s richest agricultural land, has gone up in the flames caused by a steady “trickle” of missiles from Lebanon. How I so loved hiking those northern trails and hills; once upon a time. How the residents loved their northern paradise; once upon a time. How thousands of elderly people now confined to four star hotel cells long for the once upon a time familiarity of home. How children ran and played; went to school, to scout group, to cool streams and rivers: once upon a time. How those children want to know if they will be back in school with their friends this fall. How their parents want to know if they will be back to once upon a time work again, or not.

Let’s Do Something: In Amka, Not in Shlomi

On October 7th and 8th, after receiving a “pray for me” text message, the friends of David Newman headed south in search of their dear friend and his fiancé, precious Noam.

They never found David.

David was shot in the chest while, with his last breath, he protected Noam and others who were desperately sheltering and praying in a large dumpster.

Like David, most of them were slaughtered. Noam, wounded, hid beneath young fresh Jewish corpses.

David will never go home again.

Not to his family, not to his friends, not to Noam, and not to the Jewish Quarter where he grew up or to the Kotel where he loved to pray.

On October 8th, in the midst of their search for David, those friends opened a WhatsApp group called Let’s Do Something. Eight months later, the organization that started with that group of young bereaved friends has brought many tons of military gear and humanitarian aid into the country. In addition, they are now working with soldiers who took their start-up nation attitude into Gaza where they fight to protect us all, learn from their front-line experience, and while still in uniform, turn around to design new, cheaper, and better systems that can be deployed faster than you can say Hamas-Welcomes-All-Human-Shields-to-Heaven.

And today, in Moshav Amka, in addition to what they do to help defend the people of Israel, Let’s Do Something is running what has become a bi-weekly event in the not quite north: an afternoon carnival for refugee communities, this one for Shlomi. Because when eight months ago they said Let’s Do Something, they meant it.

So here I am today at Moshav Amka making sno-cones for the children of Shlomi.

Though they somehow play and laugh and smile, going home now seems like a distant dream for them, because every day—trickle, trickle, trickle—missiles are visited upon the north; upon the playgrounds and school yards of children’s memories.

In the moshav community center, a large “store” has been set up for the day. A store brimming with clothing, shoes, toys, and so many more items that lighten the burden of the Shlomi parents. And while the parents “shop” and relax a bit, a small army of Let’s Do Something volunteers is manning what reminds me of a small county fair from my youth.

The parents of Shlomi?

They smile.

Full and broad, sort of.

And the kids? Yes they love the cotton candy, sno-cones, and all the fun.

And they hope that one day.


They’ll go home. To the north. To Shlomi, Metula, Kiryat Shemona and so many other towns and cities.

The poet said, “Shlomi? How am I?”

How is my peace?

My peace of mind? My inner peace?

שלומי כשלום עמי.

My peace is bound forever to Shlomi.

Because that’s just the reality here in the north, in this beautiful little land of ours, where a drive from the north of the country to the south isn’t like a drive from Detroit to Houston. No, in Israel a drive from the north to the south is more like a drive from Cleveland to Columbus.

Part II: From Shlomi to Hezbollah and Back Again

June 21, 2024

Dear Mr. Jihad:

I hope I have done justice to your handiwork in northern Israel. Indeed, you can be proud of the havoc you have wreaked upon the monkeys and pigs running around the Jewish state. Now that people have a sense of how successful you’ve been, they are in a position to understand why the war Israel is fighting has only just begun. To understand that, all that is required is three short answers to three simple questions. And Mr. Jihad, if I get anything wrong, do correct me.

Three Questions:

  1. Where is Shlomi?
  2. Who is Hezbollah?
  3. What is Lebanon?

1) Where is Shlomi?

Find Haifa on Israel’s northern coast and place your finger there. Now, move that finger a little further north to Nahariya, and then to breathtaking Rosh Hanikra on Israel’s northern most coast. From there, slide a bit east until you see Shlomi.


The area you just traced is where about 10% of all Israelis live. Proportionally, in USA terms, that’s equal to the combined population of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Now that you know where Shlomi is, what that region represents in terms of Israel’s total population, and have a sense of what life is like for 80,000 internal refugees from the north, the next question is . .

2) Who is Hezbollah?

And the answer is: Hezbollah, a Jihadi political political party founded and funded by Iran, is the Islamic Republic’s Lebanon based forward army base. This sprawling military base covers the entire south of Lebanon, other areas further north, and parts of the capital city of Beirut. This army base is home to 50,000 Iranian-Hezbollah soldiers and one of the largest, most sophisticated arrays of advanced offensive missiles in the world.

That’s Hezbollah, almost.

You see to fully grasp Hezbollah, you need to also understand Lebanon. So . . .

3) What is Lebanon?

While the simple answer is that Lebanon is a country, that’s not exactly true. Why? Because in Lebanese politics and daily life, Hezbollah is the Islamic Jihadi political party that controls Lebanon’s parliment, internal security, and most of its economy. In other words, while at the UN the country bordering Israel’s north is called Lebanon, in practice, Lebanon is Hezbollah and Hezbollah is Lebanon. And since Hezbollah is just an extension of Iran, well . . .

Now you can understand what Lebanon actually is.

Go back to your map, look at Israel’s northern border, and what do you see? Correct! Southern Lebanon, home to that enormous Hezbollah army-missile base, is what? You got it: Iran! That’s right. Hezbollah. Lebanon. Iran. In essence, they are one and the same.

In USA terms, imagine if Canada was effectively controlled by Iran. Imagine further that an enormous Iranian missile base in Ontario were responsible for a mere “trickle” of daily missile attacks on Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Imagine if only 5% of Indiana’s amber waves of grain had been set ablaze by those missiles. Imagine if due to those attacks, cities like Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Cleveland were uninhabitable; if all the schools were closed, the stadiums emptied, and the malls shuttered.

You can stop using your imagination now because that is precisely the reality in lovely, peaceful Shlomi and the rest of Israel’s north.

Dear Mr. Jihad,

So you want to know how Shlomi is?

How am I? How’s my peace?

How kind of you to ask.

Here in Israel, we Jews can’t separate our personal response to your question from our Nation-enmeshed thoughts and feelings. I’m not sure you can wrap your keffiyeh wrapped head around this, but we don’t see our neighbors as shields, we see them as soul brothers. And we don’t ask our doctors to be hostage holders, we only ask them to heal.

So how’s my peace? The same as my people’s.

Oh, and how’s yours?

Actually, Mr. Jihad, I couldn’t care less.


Dedicated in honor of the children, parents, and grandparents of Shlomi.

To you we owe our thanks for always securing our northern border, our land, and our lives.

To you we owe everything we can possibly do to ensure your safe return home.

To you we bow our heads.


And to the people at Let’s Do Something and Israel Support Bridge:

On behalf of so many: Thanks for Doing Something.

(please visit)

Moshav Amka: Let’s Do Something – Israel Support Bridge “store.”

Volunteer Sno-cone Brigade, including author’s 7 year old granddaughter.


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.