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HOPE AROUND THE FIRE "I've Reconciled Myself ...

Sep 14, 2019, 1 comments, 6 smiles HOPE AROUND THE FIRE "I've reconciled myself to this…..there will not be peace….. and it's made my life easier. I go to work, and I do what I must, but I've stopped hoping and expecting that we will make peace, any time in the near future." With these words, Sami, the young Palestinian in the back seat of my car, threatened to darken the light that glowed in my belly as we came home from last night's Sulha gathering. Minutes before, we had finished scrubbing the pots from dinner and dousing the tribal fire where 80 Palestinians and Israelis sang songs of hope and shared our common dreams, while the nearly-full moon flirted with shining its light through the passing clouds. I pushed him to look, despite his appraisal, reminding him of Margaret Mead's famous statement…"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only ... Read Full Story


Jul 24, 2019, 2 comments Joe was recently hospitalized involuntarily at the psychiatric hospital, Kfar Shaul. I have been going to visit him nearly every day. His name is not Joe, and the original name of the place where he is confined is Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, after fierce house-to-house fighting, fighters of the Irgun and Lehi forces dis-emboweled, decapitated, raped and killed between 100 and 150 men, women and children, residents of Deir Yassin. News of the massacre precipitated waves of fear and panic among the general Palestinian population, significantly contributing to the ultimate exodus of 700,000 people from their homes during the subsequent War of Independence. Joe is unaware of the history of the hospital. He feels imprisoned and wants to get back to the old age home where they are still holding his room. A few of us folks support him, and we are hopeful. Meanwhile, my daily pilgrimages to Deir ... Read Full Story

Toward The Sabbath In Jerusalem

Jun 27, 2019, 5 smiles There's an old, full-size axe in my garden all the time. That's where I chop wood for our wood-burning stove. Today, three strapping young East-Jerusalem Palestinian men came to begin extensive anti-leaking work on our house. They arrived at the garden where a small sledgehammer and a hoe are also among the tools. Uncontrollably, I found myself asking, "What would I have to do that would cause these guys to hack me to death with my garden tools?" Am I afraid of Palestinians? I'm not proud of the fact that I have hidden, in my inner conversation, automatic responses of terror, even as I welcome these lovely three guys who have come to do a job. While I, for an instant, imagine a horror, what interests them is handling the challenges of our leaky house efficiently and getting their payment. Nothing else. As part of the Israeli collective, I have absorbed, through ... Read Full Story

Inspiring Link

Jun 09, 2019, 3 comments, 2 smiles Nechama Rivlin was us | Noah Efron | The Blogs She had no airs, she was generous, thoughtful and idealistic: where can you find those qualities today in Israel? Everywhere

Life Is Like A Cigar.

May 15, 2019, 5 smiles Life is like a cigar. When it's fresh, just out of the box, a good cigar exudes a quiet enthusiasm. The whole ritual….smelling along the length of the cigar, biting off the tip, lighting it well, the entire end aglow. The cigar's intervening stages unfold, youth, middle age, as you approach the mighty finale of the butt end of the cigar. The essence of the cigar's youth and maturity is now mixed into the sharp taste of its last minutes, and its imminent demise. On one of Jerry Benjamin's many visits to Israel, he invited me to his room at Mishkenot Sha'ananim, the by-invitation guest house facing the walls of the Old City. He pulled out two extremely delicious cigars, as he poured some whiskey for us. Talking with Jerry was an adventure, always full of a sense of possibility. What made him so attractive was this combination of deep wisdom and ... Read Full Story

Inspiring Link

May 12, 2019, 3 comments, 4 smiles Kid whose 'Wow’ reaction to hearing Mozart went viral has been found and his story is incredible - masslive.com No Description Found

Inspiring Link

Apr 16, 2019, 2 smiles I believe | Yoav Peck | The Blogs From the blog of Yoav Peck at The Times of Israel


Mar 05, 2019, 4 smiles BREAKING FREE, TOGETHER It's a slippery slope when people become so hardened that they lose their empathic capacity. They have also lost their inner empathy….they lose track of what is happening to them, in addition to distancing from the feelings of others. Toward the end of her life, the novelist Anais Nin explained why she had stopped reading the newspaper. "Either I am shattered, or I become hardened. I can't allow myself to do either." We Israelis have allowed ourselves to become hard. Next time you get so furious with someone that you imagine hurting them, check to see how you feel about yourself in those moments. A 19 year old soldier who evades rocks thrown in the casbah of Nablus, day after day, who arrests 11 year old boys in the middle of the night, terrifying the family and dragging the weeping child into a jeep…. What becomes of this soldier's ... Read Full Story


Dec 09, 2018, 4 comments, 7 smiles Over the past several years, it has become commonplace to hear people complain of the many ways that the present government is eating away at the foundations of democracy. Last week, I experienced the force of this process myself. I invited the Palestinian poet, Dareen Tatour, to read her poetry at the November Sulha gathering. To my joy, she accepted. I assured her that we would take care of her transport from Reina, north of Nazareth. She pushed aside my offer to pay her for the effort. I became aware of Dareen Tatour through the "Ha'aretz" piece about her that appeared in the weekend section in recent weeks. Until then, she had been just another of many Palestinians, oppressed in various ways, that crossed my path in the media. The "Ha'aretz" interview explored with Dareen her trial, arrest and incarceration, both five months in prison and, for two and a half ... Read Full Story


Sep 08, 2018, 1 comments, 3 smiles "Sad," we shared, sitting in a circle, 18 of us, in an event organized by "Sulha," minutes after viewing the film "Oslo Diaries." Reflecting together on the film's rendering of those fleeting, precious moments in Oslo, between 1993-6, we needed to be with others. Shimon Peres' words, in the last minutes of the film, still rang in our ears and hearts….."When you decide to swim across the Sea of Galilee, and in the middle you tire, don't swim back, swim forward…." And despite Shimon's elegant coaching, when the Sulha facilitator asked people to express their feelings in one word, at least half responded with, "Sad." You could see it in the drawn faces around the circle. The pain of re-witnessing such a missed opportunity, a moment when the possibility of a decent future was palpable. The film takes us through the excruciating Oslo meetings, the breakdowns and breakthroughs, the fierce determination ... Read Full Story