Valley of Tears
Synopsis of Episode 4, “Strength of My Foes”:
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
- Describe a time when your conception of someone or something changed after a new experience. How and why did your conception change?
- What themes or values do you think unite humanity, if any? What themes or values divide people? Which values are most important to you?
- The Hebrew title of the series is Sh’at Neila, a reference to the Neila prayer service that concludes Yom Kippur. Neila is seen as the last time to offer prayers and repentance during the holiest day of the year. Why might the creators have chosen to name this series after a specific part of Yom Kippur?
The Yom Kippur War
On Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, Israel was taken by surprise in 1973 when Egyptian and Syrian armies attacked the country’s thinly-manned borders. Despite Israel’s ultimate success as the fighting continued, the war was considered a devastating military failure. In total 2,688 Israeli soldiers were killed and more than 9,000 were wounded. It remains a source of national trauma to this day.
Yom Kippur War Israel Resource Card (The iCenter)
The Devastating Yom Kippur War and Lasting Peace (i24 News Video)
Yom Kippur War—A Surprise Attack on a Holy Day in 1973 (My Jewish Learning)
Values in Tension Activity
Often when we disagree with others, we may assume that we do not have shared values. This is a theme throughout Valley of Tears. You can use this activity to illustrate that we often do have shared values—and our differences lie in the way we approach and prioritize them. Recognizing the possibility of shared values, and the complexity of both sides, may allow us to better understand those whose opinions we do not share.
Behind the Scenes of Valley of Tears
PTSD and Other Effects of War and Battle
According to the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma: “Over ten percent of Israel's population suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a statistic that is three times greater than in the United States.” Besides soldiers who witnessed battles and death, sufferers include children and adults living in conflict areas such as kibbutzim and villages around the Gaza Strip and survivors of terror attacks.
Many of the characters in the series suffer from some form of PTSD and trauma, and for each it is manifested in a different way. The devastation of mind and spirit affects their lives and the lives of those who love them for years to come.
Yom Kippur War Veteran: Emotional Consequences to Trauma (Jerusalem Post)