Encounter 132 – September 25, 2020

Reconciliation for everyone,
Last week our circle was held in its shorter version. The approaching lockdown did its job and before things actually locked down, good people came and sat together at our lighthouse, came early, for a shorter while, and Nahshi summarized.
The week that has passed since has not been easy. The pandemic, Bibi, threats of draconian new laws, uncertainty and past life that has been locked in a bubble from which it is seen only vaguely. And if you ask, naturally Palestinians’ everyday life is clearer and their stress more understandable.
In the media, the patronizing sector spoke about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the others about Mirit Harari – two women who recently passed away. Hardly anyone spoke of Meron Benbenisti… The heading of this summary – “reconciliation for everyone” is a dedication to Benbenisti who believed that “peace” is suited for a solution of two communities struggling over the same space, and “reconciliation” is what we should aspire and in which we must invest resources.
When Friday grew close I realized I’d be at the Migdalor circle. A kind of need. Not as defiance of the lockdown instructions, nor dealing the challenge – I simply have to be there. So does Shmulik…
Bu the way, Shmulik and I know practically everything about each other, even though he always knows better, always! My only advantage is “last week”… since he is without a smartphone, I always tell him what Ghadir wrote, what Roni told us, how Rami got poetic and which interesting article Nomika shared… Thus too this time – we both sat in the shade of the pine trees with a cup of coffee and argued as we always do.
In the silence around us I heard a vehicle driving away and recognized Rami’s. I called and he assured me that it was he indeed. He asked whether we are violating lockdown, and said he would be sharing a video he had just taken, right away. He won’t be coming today, he said.
Gladly, he was not true to his word and a little after 2 o’clock he called to check… 10 minutes later he arrived with Nomi. We sat 2 meters apart as required, and Nomi tried to find out why I was depressed. As usual, an interesting discussion ensued among us four about the meaning of “losing” and the hardship of “losers”, where should one draw the line between addiction to current events info and total escapism, what it means to “care” and other things… When they arrived Rami “diagnosed” me right and asked whether I was depressed.
When they had gone, I realized again how powerful encounter is.
On Friday morning I received a message from Ghadir, protesting our not having initiatied a Zoom meeting. “Too bad”, she wrote. “These are hard times. I’d like to talk and share so many things.” So right.
I’ll be at the Migdalor this coming Friday as well.

Oded.

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