hebron again

It's been difficult to get internet this week--we had snow! Not much, but in a place where you don't have central heat, yikes. It rained and sleeted and was pretty much like that ugly April coldwet Boston mess. Anyway it was a 'snow day' which means nothing, just that the schools are out and the buses are on a restricted schedule. We visited friends and had a beautiful big lunch in a charming dairycafe. (Jerusalem is absolutely crammed with good veg food. It's unmanageable.)

Tomorrow I'm in Hebron again, this time with the bigger group. Our planning and orientation meetings went well. I even facilitated a small group at the orientation, and will continue to facilitate for them tomorrow. Meanwhile tonight I was at a session in an Uzbeki Sufi center in the Old City, hosted by the sheikh and his American Jewish peace activist counterpart, learning about their rather wide-ranging skills in bringing together the religious leaders of "the children of Abraham."

In my hopeful mind I am so pleased to see a Muslim and Jew loving each other so much and working together so hard. In my cynical mind I am frustrated by the "we are all brothers" theme of peacemaking. I suppose this has to do with my interest in justicemaking. In a way, actually, if we use a narrow definition of "peace" where it means 'loving each other and singing joyous songs to god' I'm basically doubtful that any group of people outside of a spiritual retreat are going to live in peace. But it is worth it to me that someone else is working on that vision.

Thinking back to Hebron last week, I'm not that depressed and angry about this trip tomorrow. I can turn off the shock-and-pain circuit in order to hold space for the group participants. I worry about numbness, I worry about effectiveness, and now I am worried about being too tired. Am drinking a nice Scotch, though, so what can be so wrong?

1 comment:

Nava said...

i heard a story on npr the other day about catastrophic crop loss in the west bank due to frost. after that i figured you must be right that it's pretty cold.
it was a fairly compelling story until the reporter asked one of the farmers if he had crop insurance, and he said, no - only the jews have that. at this point i had to avert my eyes, which was difficult because i was listening to the radio in a room by myself.
when you meet my mom you should ask her about being a teacher in jerusalem on a "snow day" in '74. I hear the light is very intense between the white snow and the jerusalem stone (that's not my mom's story).
love as always.