The sound (of prayer) and the fury

Plus a cause to support, to help those who have fled their burnt homes. And a story about a dog.

We’ll start with the mood in Israel.

We’ll go on to a project that people can support if they’d like to help Israelis who have lost everything.

A dog story.

And we’ll end with a prayer now being recited all over the world.

Today, all I will try to do is to share a sense of the rage that is sweeping this country, because of the reports of what the rescuers (who mostly got there too late to rescue anything or anyone) have found. The views below are not necessarily mine (though they’re not necessarily not mine, either). They are the views that have Israel in their grip, and to understand what’s happening inside Israel now, they are the views that one needs to know about.

We’ll come to the “sound (of prayer),” but we’ll start with the fury:

  1. Naftali Bennett, former PM, on British TV, above. It speaks for itself, on many levels. No need to comment.

  2. Merav Sever’s tweets about eye witness reports.

  3. Assaf Sagiv’s response to Merav Sever’s tweets

  4. Guy Hochman is an Israeli comedian. He’s not in a comic mood.

Merav Sever is a reporter for the Israel Today newspaper, and Kan television station. She tweeted the following late Thursday night. A translation follows:

“Report from Mendy Haviv, the officer in Zaka, as he reported to me:”

I saw a head cut off. We gathered severed limbs. We found half a burnt body, but we don’t know where the other half is. Bodies shot, in all sorts of positions. I was walking between bodies on the pathways of the kibbutz. Maneuvering somehow between bodies that are tossed in every direction. We saw a metal bar stuck piercing a skull. Some sort of axe stuck into a head.

There were horrors that one simply cannot comprehend. These monsters are worse than ISIS. The Prime Minister called what they did “barbaric.” Barbaric is an understatement. Cannibals is an understatement. We saw blood even on the ceilings. On the floors. I’m just trying to imagine what they did to the bodies that were bleeding.

It got all the way up to the ceiling? Horrors like those we’ve seen over the past four days we’ve never, ever seen. We saw dogs crying with tears, terrified, shaking. We found a boy, burnt, on the side of a house. In one of the houses in Be’eiri, we found a couple tied to each other, shot and burnt. Across from them were three children, also burnt and shot. Among them was a boy about four or five years old.

Assar Sagiv:

Back in the good old days, when all we had to discuss was Israel ripping itself to shreds over Judicial Reform, we mentioned Assaf Sagiv on several occasions. He is probably Israel’s most important conservative public intellectual, who made headlines back in those ancient days for vehemently opposing the Judicial Reform, even though it was supposedly a conservative agenda. His arguments were fascinating, but none of that matters anymore.

Here’s what Sagiv wrote today, in response to Merav Sever’s reporting above:

The people who committed these atrocities are not human. They were created in a human womb, but they were not created in the image of God. They are cockroaches, and the Israeli army is the flip-flop that will crush them. Every Hamas member deserves to die. Every Hamas supporter deserves to die. We will exterminate them, even if it takes a hundred years. The people of Israel should dedicate themselves to one goal: to erase every trace of this abomination, whatever the cost. This is not the time for the morality of the prophets. This is the time for the morality of Yehoshua bin Nun, King David and Alexander Yanai. The whole world will hear our roar, and the earth will tremble.

Here is Guy Hochman, who is, in normal days, a comedian. These are not normal days.

A Zaka volunteer on Channel 12 said, “There was a pile of 20 children tied up and shot, that the terrorists put in one pile and set them on fire.”

It’s a full-blown Holocaust.

When I was on a trip to Poland and saw some of the Nazi atrocities and the families that were exterminated, I felt a sense of revenge that I could not explain. Now it's happening again. There needs to be a Jewish uprising here. Even in thousands of years, the “Simchat Torah Massacre” will be remembered and history will judge the reaction and resilience of the Jewish people. If we do not respond properly, the destruction of this Temple, too, will follow.

The stupid government has been "killing senior officials" for years. They don't understand that more senior officials will always emerge. They need to be eliminated on the day that they are recruited into Hamas. And bring back the kidnapped citizens, by force. And purify Gaza, by force. And conquer it back, by force. And restore our honor, by force. It’s time to go back to 1948

We, too, have a responsibility. Everyone today should look at himself as a partisan, as a Guardian of Israel, as a protector of the land. To always have in our minds, “Never Again.” We are now experiencing it first hand. We promised a million children who perished in the Holocaust, “Never Again.” But we failed them. Now we have to engrave it in our heart's blood and deliver the promise to the twenty children burned in Be’eri and dozens of other babies and children who were murdered in the massacre.

It’s time for revenge.

The IDF is warning Gazans to flee Gaza city and to head south.

Times of Israel Screenshot

The United Nations has demanded that Israel change is plans “so as to avert disaster.” Most people here think that the whole point is that the disaster already happened.

Israelis are facing an unfolding horror. If you would like to share our conversation about what they are feeling and what is happening that the English press can’t cover, please subscribe today.





"Your house should be open wide." (Mishne Avot / Sayings of the Fathers 1:5) 

Dear friends,

Saturday's horrors beggar the imagination and who knows what lays in store.

What we do know is that many families have lost not only their loved ones but also their homes. Whole communities in Israel’s South, who have withstood one trial after another for years, are now deserted. 

Many families, between 200 and 300 people – numbers are swelling - have found temporary shelter in the youth hostels of Jerusalem and those hostels urgently need help.

The cost of an average stay for a family of five averages out to roughly $160-175 a night. 

Please consider clicking on one of the links below to give your support. The funds are earmarked for this initiative and others of similar nature.  

This fundraising initiative is being organized by a number of civil society organizations listed below. Here is a list of the youth hostels that were willing to extend their hospitality for the initiative and charge only for covering their cost with no profit  

* The Yitzhak Rabin Youth Hostel
* The Agron Hostel 
* The Tzipori Center

Here is the link for donations (recognized for tax purposes in the US):


Please add this line in the comment to your donation:

"For Gaza Border Evacuee Emergency Housing Initiative"

Give a gift subscription

Share Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis


I’ve lost count of how many reporters I’ve seen and heard who are telling of animals that are still shuddering and shrieking. Dogs that cannot be calmed. Farm animals traumatized with no one there to care for them anymore. I actually saw a reporter start to cry when he described the crazed, petrified dogs that are still left behind.

This morning, a brief story that was on the news, told by the reporter who witnessed it himself.

The “Gaza envelope” where all those kibbutzim are is mostly a closed military area. A week later, the IDF isn’t certain that there are not terrorists there, and of course, there’s rocket fire. And bodies. And worse.

So civilians can’t get in.

A car pulled up to a military checkpoint, and the driver, in his thirties, told the soldier guarding the checkpoint that he and his wife, who was sitting beside him, were going back to their kibbutz to look for their dog. The soldier told them it was a closed area, and he couldn’t let them in. The driver explained that they were among the few survivors, had nothing, and just wanted to get the dog. The soldier said he was sorry, but he couldn’t let him in. The wife burst out sobbing.

In a fury, the driver got out of the car and put his face in the soldier’s face and screamed, “Look at her! I just want to get my dog! Let me in!” The soldier, just a kid, put his hand on the guy’s shoulder, and said, “All of our hearts go out to you for what you went through. I have no words. But please, don’t press me to do something I’m not allowed to do. We’re in the same boat.”

The guy looked at the soldier, and hugged him, and, said the reporter, they both wept.

The husband went back to the car, to his distraught wife. The soldier said, “Wait.” He went to his commander and spoke to him for a moment.

He came back and said, “Go ahead. I really hope you find your dog.”


First the text, the a video that someone shared with me of the prayer being sung at Yeshiva University this week. And a video released this week by the IDF Rabbinate of the same prayer. (I suspect it’s an old video, but it was just reposted; and, as I’ve noted many times in the past, I’m not really a fan of these kitschy photo-montages, especially of military matters, but it’s the only official IDF rendition of the prayer that I could find. So it will have to do for now…)

The prayer is from the morning service, recited on Mondays and Thursdays after the Torah is read:

Sefaria screenshot

[As for] our brethren, the entire House of Israel who [still] remain in distress and captivity, whether on sea or on land, may God have compassion on them, and bring them from distress to relief, from darkness to light, from servitude to redemption, at this moment, speedily, very soon; and let us say Amen.

Yeshiva University this week:

Loading video

And the IDF Rabbinate’s video of the same prayer, same melody:

Loading video

[As for] our brethren, the entire House of Israel who [still] remain in distress and captivity, whether on sea or on land, may God have compassion on them, and bring them from distress to relief, from darkness to light, from servitude to redemption, at this moment, speedily, very soon; and let us say Amen.


Pray for captives, and the young men and women at war out there. We need them all to come home whole, in body and spirit.

Shabbat Shalom.

If you’re just joining us, Israel from the Inside typically posts a written column on Mondays and a podcast on Wednesdays. That is obviously irrelevant for the time being.

We’ve delayed all the podcasts that were ready to go, because the people whose stories they tell deserve to tell them when we all have the bandwidth to hear. Hopefully, that will return some day.

In the interim, we’ll post as possible. Here in Israel, there are non-stop funerals to go to, shiva homes to visit, grandchildren to help care for while sons and daughters are in the army, so we’ll see.

Schedules are the least of our worries.

Impossible Takes Longer is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and at other booksellers.

Our Twitter feed is here; feel free to join there, too.

Our Threads feed is danielgordis. We’ll start to use it more shortly.