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07. Preservation of Identity and Culture

Sarit Lasnick Kurtzman

What was the experience of the attack like for “regular” people? In this interview, Sarit recounts the harrowing day and night that she and her husband spent locked in their safe room, in their house on Kibbutz Alumim. This may be the story of one person and her husband and baby, but many additional people experienced these exact moments of terror directly, and many more indirectly, as the entire country followed the news and the reports from their friends and family in the area near Gaza. Although many were killed that day, even more were in this exact situation, holding the safe room door closed for hours on end. The details that Sarit adds here connect us to the reality of the situation – they express the deliberations and thoughts of a mother, a wife, a religious person, a civilian – and that connection can somehow make Hanukkah more real for us as well. Suddenly, unfortunately, the image of Jews hiding in the dark feels real and close to us. We know too, though, that as the sun rose the day after October 7th, Sarit and her family were evacuated, just as the Maccabees were able to save Israel in their time, and just as we will persevere in our time.

החוויה של תושבי העוטף, שהיו נעולים בממ"דים שלהם ליותר מ24 שעות, מובאת פה בתיאור פשוט ופרקטי, שמדגיש את האנושיות והמציאות של מצב כזה. התיאור של שרית מחבר אותנו למצב, וגם אולי מחבר אותנו לחנוכה – פתאום המחשבה על יהודים שמסתתרים בחושך לא מרגישה כל כך רחוקה. אך כמו ששרית ומשפחתה פונו, וכמו שהמכבים יצאו עם ידם על העליונה, כך גם אנחנו נשרוד ונשגשג בזמן הזה.

Note: This video contains descriptions of violence and killing, though no specific acts are discussed.

We do what we need to do. We fight, we survive, and we win.



What would your focus be if you had to stay in a closed room for 24 hours? What thoughts or actions would help keep you as stable as possible?

מה היה עוזר לכם להשאר שפויים במצב של שהות בממ"ד במשך 24 שעות?

What element of your identity do you think protects you? What is your baseline, your rock, that allows you to survive an argument, for example, or a questioning of your principles?

איזה מרכיב בזהות שלך מהווה סלע, בסיס איתן שמאפשר לך לעבור בשלום ויכוח או בחינה של העקרונות שלך?

Who would you want to be locked up with for 24 hours?! You can think of this metaphorically as well–think of people who are fictional or no longer alive, but who would be the right company for you in such a situation.

עם איזו דמות – היסטורית, עכשווית או בדיונית – הייתם רוצים להיות נעולים איתה בממ"ד ל24 שעות? מי היה האדם הנכון עבורך במצב כזה?

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