June 30th news report ——-July 1st haiku

Candles for 3 kidnapped boys, murdered, mourned

 

deep suspicions
confirmed without doubt
heartbreak just as real

a nation mourns
three kidnapped boys
found dead

Advertisements

Interviewing Janice Weizman, a writer from Rehovot, Israel

I was happily invited to the Sde Avraham home of Sara Lischinsky this past weekend, where I was able to meet with Janice Weizman.

The Wayward Moon - book coverJanice, formerly from Toronto, has lived and breathed Israeli life for the past 30 years and her fertile imagination and research led her to write her first novel, The Wayward Moon.

I interviewed her and posted my first entry to a new blog: Writers Speak Out!

Here is the link. Take a look!

‪http://wp.me/p3k1cD-4‬

Day After Ceasefire – November 22, 2012

Wednesday night,  November 14, was the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

Today is Thursday, November 22nd, the first day after the Ceasefire pronounced yesterday evening at 9:00 PM our time.

A week of being directed to our Safe Rooms if we had them, or within 15 seconds distance of any possible Safe Room.  A week of being alerted to every little nuance of  daily life. No work. No school. Yes work. Yes kibbutz breakfast. No kibbutz dinner.  Store hours. Store closed suddenly. And so it went.

A facebook group kept English Speakers in constant touch. We fed one another’s anxieties and applauded our acts of heroism. Going out for a regular walk was cheered, or admonished (mostly admonished with incredulity). Walking dogs within proximity of  a shelter became a deed of courage that needed a motivational talk beforehand and a debriefing afterwards.

Interesting times we live in.

Some lived without.

Many residents left the area and still haven’t returned.

Eventually, things will come back to normal.

Normal awareness that we carry with us at all times will sit in our back pockets instead of fully planted in our frontal lobe.

Soon. My safe room will go back to being a safe haven of choice rather than necessity.

A safe room.

T’ai Chi in Nir-Oz: Talking to Zohar G!

T’ai Chi: An interview with Zohar

Judih: Can you please introduce yourself

Zohar: I’m Zohar, from Kibbutz Nirim

J: You come to T’ai Chi in Nir-Oz. How did you discover T’ai Chi?

Zohar: Through Mickey from my kibbutz. The truth is I thought about it a lot for a long time, but just procrastinated until I finally asked him about it. He told me that it would be great if I’d come.

The truth is that I was searching for some form of exercise to help me, because my back is not in great condition and many exercises do more harm than good.  With Ta’i Chi I felt that this was what I needed, from the point of view of my health.

Judih: Nice.  When was it that you decided to come?

Zohar: About 2 years ago, in January, 2011.

Judih:  From the moment you began, what grabbed you, what attracted you to T’ai Chi?

Zohar: These are exercises that I can do. They’re not complicated. And I hope to be able to keep on way past my 80s.

Judih: That shouldn’t be a problem!

Zohar: In things like Feldenkrais and other forms of movement, I felt that I couldn’t do the exercises or that they were doing me harm.  Here, I really liked the warm-up exercises and the Chi Cong.  I like T’ai Chi a little less. But I stay mostly for the first part of the session.

I don’t relate to the martial arts aspect,  I don’t really understand how the movements relate to warfare against an opponent. Since I danced for many years,  I relate to the movements themselves.

Judih: Tell me, have you looked into the philosophy of T’ai Chi?

Zohar: No, not really. At the beginning, I searched on the Net to get some background, but not more than that. In fact, until two months ago, I only practiced during our weekly Tuesday evening lessons. But for the last two months, I’ve been doing the exercises every morning: the warm-up and some Chi Cong.

Judih: Excellent. Do you feel that this has helped you health-wise?

Zohar: Absolutely.  First of all, I couldn’t stand! I have a slipped disc and I really couldn’t stand on my feet for any length of time. Now with our static Chi Cong (standing in one place), I can actually stand, for a long time!

Secondly, I feel that it helps me in work. It helps my mind, I’m more able to concentrate.

Helps focus!

Judih: Has this changed since you began to practice every morning?

Zohar: No,  this happened from the very beginning.  It works on focus.  I’ve worked on this from many different directions and I believe that this is what is really helping me. I need to make myself keep at it, because I know myself and it’s hard for me to stay with something.

Judih: You’ve said so many positive things about T’ai Chi. Can you elaborate? When you sit and work, how do you find that it has helped you?

Zohar: I’m an accountant and the branch coordinator. Along with that,  I coordinate Information networks. That means that I have to know a lot and remember many fine details. I simply feel that I’m better able to do my work. I can feel it.

Judih: Do you feel more able to concentrate?

Zohar: Yes, most definitely.

Judih: Would you recommend T’ai Chi to everyone?

Zohar: Yes, and to all ages.

Judih: Great. Do you have any other comments you’d like to add?

Zohar: Yes. I also enjoy the people who come here to do T’ai Chi. The atmosphere is warm and free from judgement. You can make mistakes and it’s fine. I got here after others had already been doing it for 10 years  and it’s fine! People are very pleasant.

Judih: Thank you, Zohar. When you’re 80 and I’m 100, we’ll meet and discuss this further!

Zohar: One more thing. I know it’s highly recommended for improving balance and I’m encouraging my mother (who’s in her 80s) to do the exercises of Chi Cong.

Judih: Yes, others have spoken about how their own sense of balance improves immediately after doing the exercises and in general. You make a good point. Thank you, Zohar!

Brilliant Photography: Ezra Tzahor

Ezra Tzahor, photographer, teacher at Nofei Habsor, kibbutznik who lives in Kibbutz Revivim, recently had a show at the White House, Nir-Oz.

Ezra Tzahor, at the White House, Nir-Oz

I spoke to Ezra about his work focusing on the Bedouin population and the desert environment that he loves.

Judih: Ezra, can you tell me something about the current Exhibit?

Ezra: I’m constantly biking around the area with my camera.  In the Revivim area, there’s a large Bedouin population.  And I endeavour to photograph what’s going on, within our population and around us. The Bedouin  have a very difficult life, without legal status or rights and they are angry to the degree of hatred.

Desert, Ezra Tzahor, October 2012

I try to capture the images of what is really going on, with the Jewish population and the Bedouin. At the same time, my intention is to be an agent, or go-between. I wish to mediate between two sides, two groups of human beings

Judih: Do you feel that you are being heard? Do people have questions? Are they taking an interest?

Ezra: People are listening. They get angry, but they listen. There are those who believe that I’m exaggerating on either sides. Yet I know that eventually what I’m saying will penetrate people’s consciousness.

Judih: Have any newspapers taken up your cause? Is there anything written?

Ezra: Very little. I say this: Over Tel Aviv, there’s an Iron Dome, impossible to penetrate.  You want to get through, but it’s impossible.

Judih: You can’t break that bubble.

Ezra: Exactly, even if you have something to say, something truly deserving to be heard,

Judih: Do you know if something has been written in the English press? Perhaps some response from out of the country?

Ezra: I don’t think so, but I’d like to find a way to spread the word to English-speakers.

Judih: Well, this blog might find a small audience, maybe 20 people or so!

Ezra: It doesn’t matter how many, even 20 people is good!

Judih: Is there something in particular you’d like readers outside of this immediate area to know?

Photo by Ezra Tzahor

Ezra: As I wrote  in my artist’s statement for this show, people find it very difficult to relate to the camera; as if the camera is an enemy. This is true for Jews as well as Bedouin. Apparently, they’ve got something to hide, and that is what I’m searching for, what lies underneath.  Both sides are the same, and essentially need to stop being foolish.

This week, for example, on our Kibbutz fence,there was a war between the Bedouin and the local councils. Highly unnerving. There I am biking around, and it’s not always with a good feeling.

Judih: or a feeling of safety.

Ezra: or safety. And after this week, I feel even more uncertain.

Judih: What exactly happened?

Ezra: Government officials came to issue demolition warrants on illegal housing and there was huge opposition.  The Bedouin threw stones and there was gunfire, right on our Kibbutz fence.  It’s terrible.

Revivim exists with that volatile fence and tunnels and trenches. It’s terrible.

Still I am trying to build relationships, but I’m only one man, a small force and it’s extremely difficult to encourage change.

Judih: Do you have any suggestions as to how to recruit support?

Ezra: My dream is to establish a home, like Haim Perry has done with the White House on Nir-Oz,  between Revivim and Bir-Hadaj, their area. There I want to offer art activities for groups of Jews and Bedouin. That’s my dream.  With such activity, it’s possible to develop cooperation.

Judih: That sounds wonderful! Is it possible, is there some viable way to develop this project?

Ezra: Haim suggested something and I’ll start to work in that direction; perhaps the Peres Center for Peace.  And I need to find someone who can locate the resources for developing this idea.

Judih: Excellent.  Good luck and thank you.

Ezra at the White House, Nir-Oz

Ezra has an online gallery here.

To contact Ezra, feel free to write him @ ezrazahor@gmail.com

June 23rd, 2012 Rocketfire on a Saturday morning

this morning

before five thirty a.m.

we received a message to stay close to our fortified safe rooms.

another round.

I rolled out of bed, acquired some coffee and headed to check out the sounds outside and then the newsfeed. Sure enough, rockets had been aimed at cities and towns close by. Momentary updates show that the Iron Dome intercepted a few missiles, but that at least one man has been injured from shrapnel.

I realized that there’s something to share here: a news report featuring my friend Adele, who lives on a neighbouring kibbutz. She was interviewed the other day and I’ll let you listen to what she has to say.

Israel under fire, June 21st, 2012

Rocket fire Purim

All seemed to be sweet-ish

the usual Purim costumes – animals with whiskers, soccer players, dyed hair and quickie cartoon tattoos.

Then came the evening. Qassams, mortars, Red Alerts to stay in our shelters. Some wounded, some damage and the ever-present lack of knowing exactly where what fell. Saturday morning in the kibbutz. No Purim festivities today and we’ve been told to stay close to shelters.

May this end soon. No one gains from bomb attack

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4200738,00.html

Spreading the face of revolution from Tunisia to Tel Aviv – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Spreading the face of revolution from Tunisia to Tel Aviv – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

 

Remember JR, the winner of the TED Prize for ‘movers and shakers’ in 2011? Well, I do. And I showed that TED talk to a number of students hoping to inspire them to proclaim themselves through art.

He was in Israel last week to support the March for Millions held last Saturday, Sept 3.

Read the article!

Get on the bandwagon. Yallah!

 

A Special Place in Hell-Israel News – Haaretz Israeli News source.

Read Bradley Burston’s observations about the revolution for Social Justice. Saturday evening Sept 3 – 1,000,000 man march!

In Israel, the future can come down to just one night

The burdens of everyday life have for so long persuaded people that they could do nothing about them. No more. It either ends here, or Israel does. Saturday night. Be there.

By Bradley Burston

A Special Place in Hell-Israel News – Haaretz Israeli News source..