Shimon Apisdorf

The trees cry too

Part I: Among Friends

Yesterday I went to the eucalyptus studded forest of Reim.

The droopy eyed branches and long slender leaves recall the weeping willows of my youth. Tender young saplings that grew to crowning if weeping wonders.

Trees cry too you know.

הקשבה עמוקה

הקשבה לקול ה’ בתוך הכל

One can listen.

And feel her pain as well.


Walking there amongst the weeping eucalyptus of Reim, knowing they heard endless tangled: mangled screams. Terror stricken sunrise cries for mercy. life. salvation.

They strove with all their rooted might to conceal the hunted young Jews. There beneath their weeping branches.

But could not.


They too were raped. They too were dumb with horror. And still are.

Caress me. Please.

They whisper.

See me.

Feel me.

The predators were all around me. They touched me!


I ache and cannot move.

I ache and cannot speak.

I ache and cannot weep.

Though I am a weeping.



Such beauty.

No, Tiferet.

Where bullets pierced David’s heart.

As, with his last breath, and his body turned shield — Magen David — he ached to save others.


Did he imagine one last shot of life with the friends, the family, the Noam, the Bucky, the world: That loved him so.

Because he loved them so.

And liberated their wounded love.

As that last shot rang out.

Leaving the wounded beneath him.

And the trees behind him.


Part II. Nechama

Weep my Euca. lyptus weep.

Weep my childhood willows weep.


Fear not your own. cries.

At sunset as the last dragged heel departs. Night’s dawn rises.

Leaving so alone your whispered broken hearts.


You are still and shutter yet.

The roar of war. Just there echoes now.

Your body cannot shiver but sway in the wind, sway.

in the wind. sway.

And amidst the parched lifeless thorns of hell, flowers yet emerge.




Yom Hazikaron

In memory and honor of David Newman. David Yair Shalom.

Murdered at Reim.

And thus was extinguished a beacon of holy light.

While protecting others with his last thought, effort, and breath.


In honor of precious Noam.

Who was then David’s beloved wife to be.

Hidden in a dumpster beneath the garbage. One of four survivors out of the sixteen

David tried so hard to protect.

Noam who is still recovering from her wounds. Still bestowing her spirit and art upon the world.


In memory and honor of beautiful Rachel Hiller.

The only family member to survive the Holocaust.

Rachel made her way to Palestine.

In Kfar Etzion she slowly reclaimed her giving, creative spirit, and fell in love.

And there, while caring for others, she fell in the battle of ‘48.

Erev Yom Ha’atzmaut

There ended a family forever, as a nation was reborn.


You can visit Rachel in the Kfar Etzion section on Mount Herzl.

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.