lighthouse (Zoom) 105 – March 20, 2020

Nahshi sits, one coffee cup after another, under a pandemic cloud and darkening dictatorship mode, and ponders: how do we continue to shed light with our migdalor (Hebrew for “lighthouse”)?
How do we continue to meet without fear of disease, arrest, surveillance, checkpoints, death…?
How will Mohammad get to the mountain? How will Moses speak to his People at Mount Sinai? Will Jesus continue to bear his Cross until all suffering disappears from the world?…
Well, okay – the mountain will come to Mohammad, and along with Moses and Jesus they will Zoom!
Thus, at Friday, 2 p.m., instead of inviting the public to light the lighthouse at the sulfur plant as we are wont, Nahshi initiates a zoom session and invites the public to a virtual lighthouse.
Three languages (Arab, English and Hebrew), six lands (Palestine, Israel, Sweden, Cyprus, Portugal and Switzerland), no borders and one Big Brother listening in as is now the law of the land…
36 participants join our Zoom talk, in small squares on the screen. Some visually and orally, some only visually, and some just with their names. Nahshi reports there were others who tried to connect…
This whole Zoom thing is facilitated by the one and only Roni.
Most of our talk is about the pandemic’s effect on our lives, about the world outside Gaza. A world used to freedom and open space, and suddenly finds itself under lockdown, in real or imaginary fear, swamped with frightening, paralyzing or fake information.
The Israelis among us are also addressing a democracy that has turned into a Coronacracy and is on the best way to becoming a bullshitocracy. We now not only “understand” Gazans, we feel too. We feel the heavy hands of the sovereign. We feel what it is like to run our lives under edicts and laws, which like with Gazans, impact our personal and communal freedom.
Something personal: in spite of the restrictions on the one hand, and the possibility of joining the circle from home on the other, I felt the need to be present at the sulfur plant and address my private depression by talking with Rami and Shmulik over a cup of coffee. We climbed up to a high spot (near the water tank) to get reception and be able to participate in the Zoom talk.
I’m not sure my depression went away – after all the pandemic is getting worse – but the coffee was still good.
On my way back I thought that the Hebrew words for stupidity and naivete sound similar (timtum and tmimut)…I’m still trying to figure out why I thought of myself when relating to these two).
Participants: R:oni, Rami, Manar, Mohammad, Noa, Mark, Hanan, Arik, Julia, Ghadir, Mark, Rami, Oded, Shmulik, Jaber, Malki, Uzi, Nomika, Moshe, Liora, Leora, Micha, Mahera, Rachel, Marwan, Noga, Vivian, Neta, Avi, Daniel, Hanin, Rosie and her husband, Adir, Limor and Nahshi. In total the camera caught 36, and several others were present a well.