October 16, 2019
About 50 women and men passed through our sukkah (tabernacle) today! Instead of naming them, I shall list where they came from… So – Be’eri, Netiv Ha-Asara, Nir Yitzchak, Gvulot, Al Zarnouk, Beit Hashmonai, Sa’ad, Gedera, Zimrat, Sderot, Netivot, Tel Aviv, Gaza (by phone), Urim, Haifa, Jerusalem and Mevaseret Zion. This is certainly an impressive variety. The circle peaked with a discussion led by Gili Zivan of Kibbutz Sa’ad, in which she iterated the meanings of this holiday in Jewish ethos as well as the interpretations of various philosophers over the years. Among the dozens of people crowded on the white plastic seats were also 9 girls of different families. Noa, Alma and Tahel of Bet Hashmonai, TEhila, Hadasa and Naomi of Netivot, and Chen, Adi and Hadar of Mevaseret Zion. I mention them because nearly all these sweet and talented girls concentrated their energy in drawing the “stars” (of hope) and expressed their view of Gaza through their art. Our Khalil, the coffee artist, drew a “star” and stuck it to the wall of our structure with a nail. The views of adults sitting in the circle reflected the views common in the country, with the general tendency of “blaming” Hamas and the Gazans who do not rise up and resist, and compassion for them and … ourselves for having to suffer… When everyone took leave of the “circle”, everyone expressed their appreciation for this project. It is exhausting, indeed, but fascinating and shows especially how people wish to meet, express their opinions and listen to others while “respecting” the rules of the “circle”, without pointless arguments and harsh words. I believe that the circular, orderly “structure” of the discussion enables a more “refined” manner which elsewhere sound “violent” when voiced in competitive arguments. That’s it. Finally, when Rami and I remained, “packing” our equipment (did you know that all of it was “loaned” by Rami’s storehouse?) and the sound of the meeting fading in the distance died down and made room for the site’s natural quiet, we knew that today was (another) especially special day.