Lighthouse 96 – January 17, 2020

So finally, it was almost 4 p.m., and Radir read out in Arabic a text written originally in Dutch by a Jewish woman murdered in the Holocaust. She read and wept, wept and fell silent. And for a while everyone fell silent with her. We were one circle united in silence. Radir read from a card, the text by Eti Hilsum, a Jewish Dutch woman murdered in 1943 by the Nazis, in the Holocaust. She was 29 years old when she was murdered. The cards with Hilsum’s quotes, translated from Dutch into Arabic, Hebrew and English were brought by Emma Sham-Ba. She is an Israeli dividing her time between Israel and Portugal, where she is active in the Tamera community for a world without wars and for preserving its living qualities. Emma came with Patrick of Holland who photographed and documented her and us.
When we read the cards that Emma handed out to us with quotes and insights by Eti Hilsum, we were already 25 participants in the circle on a rainy day.
We had begun at 1 p.m. – the regulars – Roni, Shmulik, Nahshi and Oded. Mark arrived to be with us as well, though he has lately showed up less at the Migdalor because he has become more active in favor of a sustainable planet.
Limor – who arrived with Yefet and Nina, the furry, barking couple – helped us put up the chair circle. Later, when Emma and Patrick arrived, we opened the introduction circle as always.
In the meantime we chatted, while Or (2nd year film student at Sapir College) continued to gather us into his camera for the seventh week in a row, and Nahshi handed out coffee cups in new ceramics created especially for us by Vered Altman, a ceramist from Nir Yitzchak (and entirely her own initiative!)
Then came Radir and Jaber, who has begun to bring a coffe thermos and a tea thermos from home. Okay, we’re taking it in stride…
And here – walking towards the circle – are Gabriella, her boyfriend Eitan, and her sister Safriella. After hearing a short explanation about our circular presence, they “contribute” their own Gaza awareness, as is expected of every participant.
Maor, Mir and Yorai come down and join the circle. They too add their opinions about Gaza.
Here’s Marie, who likes to come because complexities arouse her interest. She has been coming every week for about two months, and says that Gaza is interesting in its complexity.
About 3:30 p.m. Rami arrives. He finished his studies around Tel Aviv and drove straight to the Lighthouse. At the end of the encounter he would speak. Now he is kissing Emma whom he knows from elsewhere, and listens with us all – including Sholti and Hannale from the north, and Rika from Tel Aviv, who came from a funeral at Lehavim straight to the Lighthouse. Power to you!
So we all listen to our friend Rami in Gaza who speaks with us through Roni’s cell phone, and his words are carried to us all through the loudspeaker.
At the entrance another young couple stands, somewhat self-conscious, seeing and hearing the goings-on. I approach them to explain. Nahshi suggests something (guess what) and they sit down. Thus Shira of Beer Sheva and her partner Tomer join the circle. The talk with Gazan Rami comes to an end.
Rami (of Beeri) tells a bit about the history of the Lighthouse idea and about new insights acquired in his studies. Emma hands out cards with the Hilsum quotes, and finally, almost at 4 p.m., Radir read out the text in Arabic, written originally in Dutch by a Jewish woman killed in the Holocaust.