May 29th – Shavuot holiday, Itai and Ariel, and other current events

Kibbutz Nir-Oz celebrated Shavuot with 500 guests, succulent quiches, salads, south american flutes and the usual array of breads, cheeses and kibbutz choirs.

I like the beautiful getting ready scenes

Margit whooshing the tablecloths

Margit whooshing the tablecloths

As for me, personally, admitting to a case of the flu, I spent my ‘erev hag’ (evening before the holiday) preparing report cards for my classes from grade 8 to 11. The long-suffering grade 12 kids have already received their final numbers and words from me (including personal goodbye benedictions).

Sneezing doesn’t seem to go along well with meditation or creative outlets, so I spent most of the day watching Sally Fields in”A Woman of Independent Means”, a woman who 100 years ago was struggling with the idea of living life, unconventionally, while walking the line of conservative society. In any case, it was serialized and gave me time to do laundry, bake bread, make a bran cake and generally live a life while watching too many hours of TV.

There’s been a lot of talk of women’s rights and pro-choice in the news. Some people say we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were. We slowly have the vote, we slowly have the right to express ourselves without being labelled ‘babe’ or ‘warrior’. It’s all so slow that some of us don’t feel a thing. Some of us who claim to be just a normal earthling get shocked when gorgeous models are air-brushed into further perfection (see jezebel.com) or when some of our most beloved citizens are victims of violence.

No shock, nothing new. All we can do is be open-eyed and prepared. Fast reflexes and staying away from danger zones are good rules to keep. All human beings need to remember the law. No carrying illegal substances in a heavily policed zone. You know who you are. These are bits of advice from someone coming from the ‘discretion’ side of life. Be who you are, be! But if you’re into illegals, be who you are in the privacy of your own home. If you’re into ‘kink’, be who you are at home. Screaming ‘look at me’ in the face of those who can’t handle nonconformists is to bring yourself unwanted distraction and sometimes pain.

Pain is to be avoided. Call me a coward, but politicizing can attract violent reactions. Violence is to be avoided.

Peace begins within the self. Get yourself together and then we’ll talk.

Further news:

While in Sha’ar haNegev High School, testing the Grade 12 students, I met 2 young men, Itai and Ariel, who’d pursued the idea of Protest Songs to awaken consciousness. Itai wrote a poem about Gilad Shalit. His work in Hebrew shows rhythm and rhyme. His English translation did not. So I asked him if I could re-work the English. He said sure. But lo and behold, re-working English means re-writing a poem. So we’ve now got his original Hebrew and my adaptation. I’ll post both. First a photo of the two students who worked on this project:

Itai
Itai and Ariel 

English Adaptation: ‘HaHalom hu Shalom’ (The Dream is Peace)

 

So, tell me what you’re thinking
Wasting time on what ‘they’re’ doing
Believing what newspapers saying
Focusing  on nothing important to you
We already know about terror and war
Fear and threat, well, they’re permanent
Hiding corruption of our Prime Minister
Wondering why things are so complacent
Our motto we cry: Gilad Shalit alive
We demand his return
But who here’s concerned
Tell me, now can I learn?
So, tell me what you’re thinking
Wasting time on what ‘they’re’ doing
Believing what newspapers saying
Focusing  on nothing important to you
And what’s being said in East Jerusalem
Land going back to Palestinians
We always trying to be the Chosen
We’re just asking for a little reason
Wanna live our lives with some peace
So, tell me what you’re thinking
Wasting time on what ‘they’re’ doing
Believing what newspapers saying
Focusing  on nothing important to you
-Itai Hertz, Jan 2009 as adapted by Judih Weinstein, May 2009
החלום הוא השלום/ איתי הרץ
אז תגידו לי מה אתם חושבים
כל הזמן עסוקים במה שאחרים עושים,
מתמינים רק למה שכתוב העתונים
תתעניינים בדברים לא חשובים
מלחמות ופיגועים זה כבר ידוע
איומים וחששות זהכבר קבוע
ראש הממשלה בשחיתויות שקוע
אז למה לי נראה כאילו הכול רגוע
“גלעד שליט חי” זה המוטו
להחזיר אותו מבקשים לפה
אין אחריות לא, לא
אז תגידו לי האם שווה לחיות פה
אז תגידו לי מה אתם חושבים
כל הזמן עסוקים במה שאחרים עושים,
מתמינים רק למה שכתוב העתונים
תתעניינים בדברים לא חשובים
במזרח ירושלים הם דנים
האם להחזיר אותם לערבים
תמיד רוצים לצאת צדקים
מה בסך הכול אנו מבקשים
רק לחיות בשלום חיי שקטים
אז תגידו לי מה אתם חושבים
כל הזמן עסוקים במה שאחרים עושים,
מתמינים רק למה שכתוב העתונים
תתעניינים בדברים לא חשובים
אז תגידו לי מה אתם חושבים
כל הזמן עסוקים במה שאחרים עושים,
מתמינים רק למה שכתוב העתונים
תתעניינים בדברים לא חשובים
איתי הרץ, 1.2009
Perhaps I’ll leave it at that for now.
Happy Shavuot holiday.
P.S. Can someone tell the bloody cats to stop living on my hot tin roof? People ask me if we have qassams and I’m embarrassed to say that  all the noise on the roof obliterates my ability to report what’s going on.
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Happy Shavuot Holiday – Hag ha Bikorim Sameah

June 9, 2008

Today, on most kibbutzim, we celebrate Shavuot, Hag ha Bikorim. This harvest holiday, rooted in agriculture, offers gifts of dried fruit, breads, wheat to others in what commemorates a ritual of offering thanks for a rich harvest.

Today in some kibbutzim this festive holiday has been cancelled.

Kibbutz Nirim, where Amnon Rosenberg was laid to rest last week is one such kibbutz. Ein Hashofet, near Megiddo is another, in which a young member just passed after a long illness.

Here, in hot, hot weather of over 42 degrees C, the outdoor visits to the fields will be hard-going for most, but such is the cycle of life round here.

Happy whole wheat bread to all.

(rolls baked with whole wheat & bran – bon appetit)

-judih, june 9/08