Israelis grappling with collective, generational trauma

By November 14, 2023

Israel/Gaza (MNN) — Israeli forces are at the gates of Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza City’s main hospital above Hamas headquarters. The hospital is running out of fuel, and at least 32 patients have died. Yet, Hamas blocked Israeli efforts to deliver more fuel. The IDF says they plan to help evacuate babies at the hospital’s request.

An Israeli defense spokesperson emphasized Al Shifa Hospital is not under siege and reminded the world that Hamas still has 239 Israeli hostages.

Meanwhile, missile sirens continue to sound every day in Israel. Over 9,500 rockets have been fired on Israel from both Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north since the war began.

Victor Kalisher of the Bible Society in Israel says Israelis are grappling with collective, generational trauma. “When someone has been through a trauma, everything that reminds you of that brings you back to the situation that you remember.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., USA. (Photo courtesy of Tatiana Rodriguez/Unsplash)

“In our collective historic memory, we have the Holocaust. We have a lot of disasters. You know we celebrate Purim. It’s the story of Haman. And [then] Pharaoh. It is part of our identity. It’s not something foreign. It’s not a story about someone far. It is our story. We teach it to our children, we celebrate it every year, and we feel that it is the same thing. It happened to us again, and we are shocked.

“It’s the same demons that can chop heads off children, burn them, rape women and girls, and things that you cannot imagine…just unbelievable.”

Churches are asking the Bible Society in Israel specifically for biblical resources for traumatized kids and teens.

“We share resources for children and youth because they go through very difficult times. For children to go in this time, they have a lot of questions, they are afraid, the rockets are falling everywhere, the sirens are every day, and many of them are very scared obviously,” says Kalisher.

Messianic Hebrew resources for youth are limited. Over the last few years, the Bible Society in Israel has produced children’s books and resources in Hebrew that tell Bible stories, communicate Christian values, and engage kids at different stages.

(Image courtesy of the Bible Society in Israel)

You can support the Bible Society in Israel here as they develop more biblical resources in Hebrew for kids.

“We want to help them, to encourage them so that this time will not just be a time where they sit in front of the TV watching and scared and so on, but that they use it in a positive way and grow spiritually.”

Kalisher asks, “Pray that the Church will seek the truth biblically of what is happening and what should be the response of the Church…. We need to really seek the face of God. What is our role in this plan of salvation of yours, God? Because it affects every one of us.”







Header photo of Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo courtesy of Bruno Aguirre/Unsplash)