If you are looking for the next jaw-dropping, suspenseful, and rawfully real Israeli TV show to dive into, look no further.
Sha’at Neilah, one of Israel’s most popular TV shows that was recently sold to HBO as well, follows the story of Israeli soldiers during the Yom Kippur war, fought in 1973 between Israel and a coalition of Arab states.
The series is basically a look into the life of soldiers in the Golan, Northern region of Israel, during the Yom Kippur war. This was a make it or break it war for Israel, especially because the attacks came unexpectedly on Yom Kippur, a day when everyone was fasting! I don’t think most people realize how dire the situation really was!
The Syrians had explicit plans to make it all the way to Tel Aviv from the North, and they made it well into Israel with many troops and tanks! Somehow (by the grace of a divine miracle), Israel was able to fight back and ultimately win the way, but only after many, many unfortunate casualties. The PTSD from this war still runs in the veins of the country, as it truly was not that long ago.
In the series, you can see the emotional toll it took on each and every soldier, and how they fought to the very end for their country. Watching the show helped me understand the situation and really put myself in the shoes of these brave young men.
The show itself was done beautifully and artfully. There are some really incredible tank scenes. Sha’at Neilah was actually one of the most expensive series to produce due to the use of tanks and Israeli Army materials!
There are some really famous Israeli actors in the show including Aviv Alush and Ofer Hayoun, both of whom you'll recognize from Beauty and the Baker (Lehiot Iyta), another top show in Israel. The casting is amazing and you'll fall in love with the characters. The show also touches upon really important yet unspoken political issues of the time, specifically the tensions between Sephardim and Ashkenazim among Jews.
I don’t think Americans and Olim really know much about this war and how detrimental it was for our country. 800 soldiers died in only 5 days! In a small country, that's a loss that you can feel.
For me, seeing the heartache and intensity of the war as portrayed through the series helped me to connect to my history and understand just how lucky we were to win. The Syrians planned to be in Tel Aviv, where I sit today writing this!
The show makes me feel so proud of my country and blessed to be here. All of the privileges and blessings that we receive now, come from a lot of suffering- the blood, sweat, and tears of those who fought in our wars.
Sha’at Neilah is intense, heartfelt, and beautifully done. It is a must watch!”