Encounter 130 September 11, 2020

The topic we discussed this week was the “neighborly Sukkah” (arbor, tabernacle) like (or different) the one we held last year. At the end of this report I’ll summarize briefly.
The circle today was different (at least for me) – it was “tired”. Perhaps some would blame the heat. Indeed, not as hot as last week (today temperatures reached 35 degrees compared to last week’s 43), but it was still hot. It didn’t bother me. Nahshi’s usual coffee was acceptable as always.
Even the conversation that Nahshi and Shmulik had with Gazan Ibrahim (one of the brothers who used to work in their kibbutz, Nir Yitzhak, in the past…) did not energize the circle and remained among those three.
The feeling was that the circle is “heavy”, that it needs some power to move it and even that works only for a short while, after which fatigue reigns again.
We began the circle with Hayuta, Rami, Shmulik, Nahshi and myself. We knew that Ghadir and Jaber were on their way. I hoped they would arrive and “arouse” the circle. Ghadir tried, and Jaber also yielded to the general tired feeling.
On the way home I thought that in fact, in the past half-year, we were disconnected from the two “life lines” that energized our meetings: one was the talks with our Gazan friends, that ceased after they were arrested, and second was the anticipation of meeting, inviting and talking with random travelers, which had challenged our discourse. We continue to come and meet every week, and it still instills in us the sense that we do something, but the lack of encountering different voices has a cumulative effect. The lack of those “life lines” over time has flattened the encounters and slowly created a condition where we might “fall” into listlessness once in a while. It happened today, and I believe we should think of ways to refresh these meetings.
As for the “neighborly sukkah”…

  1. If we are going into lockdown (which is really happening) clearly nothing can be done.
  2. If there is no lockdown, several suggestions were made. If I understood correctly, the suggestion that sounded right for now was to concentrate on two Fridays (the eve of Sukkot holiday, and the last day – Simhat Torah) and direct our efforts to those times. Extend the encounter and publicize it. Organize a Zoom meeting with many participants at the end of Yom Kippur, including especially people with special ties to Gaza. Since during the Sukkot week (if there is no lockdown, of course) members of “Women Making Peace” are planning to travel around here, and wish to have some guidance about the area, we would take it upon ourselves, including a circle and coffee at the end of the tour, at the Migdalor.

Other ideas, such as repeating what we did last year, were heard very indifferently, especially because even if no lockdown is announced, people are not traveling much and the logistics are not simple.
If anyone has a different new idea, naturally we’d be glad to hear.
That’s it. That was our talk…

Participants: Shmulik, Rami, Nahshi, Hayuta, Ghadir, Jaber, and myself