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Vol. 5 (2024): Panoply Journal

The good Voice -Terror Witnessing: From Time of War to Time of Healing

3 January 2024


The land of Israel is currently navigating challenging and distressing times. The abrupt shift from the celebratory high holidays to the disturbing terror acts of Hamas has deeply affected a new, contemporary generation. This generation, accustomed to a strong sense of security and the comfort of life in the Jewish homeland, had hoped that any future conflict would involve a 'clean' cyber war fought from the safety of their own living rooms

The national memory, intertwined with the Yom Kippur War and the captives, revives a national trauma. The belief in our strength and the feeling that we would never again witness horrendous scenes shatters and reveals wounds that have yet to heal. Revisiting a time of warfare with Iron Swords and tanks, images of Jews suffering in inhumane conditions, not tolerated for their Judaism, even within their own land, is unsettling. The intensity of cruelty, the loss of basic moral principles, the slaughter of women, children, and infants, and scenes of horror—these transcend beyond the terrifying wounds inflicted upon us, causing severe disruptions in our perceptions and affects

In these days, we are all witnesses to terror and affected by it in one way or another. Within the framework of this article, I aim to depict the concept of ‘terror witnessing’, outline this experience in general terms, and propose appropriate intervention principles. In doing so, I will address the unique highlights of our current situation due to terror witnessing as an entire nation. This is to contribute, to the rapidly accumulating body of knowledge for the intervention and treatment of the numerous victims of the attack and war drawing from my research and therapeutic experiences.