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Feb 14, 2019

Awareness Day- Bearing witness day

About 15 Israelis from all over Israel and one Vietnamese Zen teacher gathered to come and hear from the people living on the other side of the fence, in the occupied territories.

We met two young men who lived in a small, quiet village in the heart of the mountains and heard about their lives, how much they loved life, cared about the earth and about humanity. Despite difficulties in their lives, their hearts are not bitter and full of hatred. They just want to continue living well. In another village, we had lunch and heard the life story of an older man. He experienced in his life few demolitions. As a child he suffered greatly from repeated uprooting and episodes of violence in all its forms. The hardships he described led many of us to tears and feelings of suffocation.

We then went to another village in the heart of the mountains and sat in a welcoming home. Two young family members opened their hearts to us and to life. They spoke of their desire to live in peace with their neighbors and to get know them.

These experiences shook up some of our group, but there was also something balanced about the possibility of containing both sides of the equation without deciding which side was right.

In the evening, one of the young men called me and told me how excited he was that members of our group listened to him. That was very meaningful to him.

They all received flower plants gift, and after a week, I visited the flower and the people who blossomed in their hearts.

A few days later, a friend who joined me, summed up his experience with these words:

"Yesterday I submitted myself to the kind leadership and hosting of a friend, and had a wonderful day in many ways. Two moments out of thousands: 1:30pm - making funny faces with 3 children in a tiny village and then discussing comic books with their older brother.1pm - playing domino with 5 children in a tiny village and then playing hand games with their little sister. All children were huge and gorgeous souls with beautiful windows of eyes. Some are defined by some adults as Palestinians, some as Jews, some as settlers, some as Muslims, some as Israelis, some as illegal, some as traitors...But I saw neighbors, huge and gorgeous souls with beautiful windows of eyes, souls and eyes so powerful I had to look away after a few seconds. Thank you my friend, thank you kids."


Jan 3, 2019

Acceptance & Forgiveness - workshop by Clara Naum

Clara started with an exercise in which participants were asked to go around the room and when meeting someone look them in the eyes for a few moments. The goal was both for people to get out of their comfort zone and to connect with other people.


Clara described four principles that reflect the perception that peace exists, therefore does not need to be built needs dissolving of its obstacles:

  1. Peace already exists
  2. Peace is an inner process
  3. Peace means ceasing the againstness – despite disagreement
  4. Peace is a choice – available in any situation

The idea is to accept what cannot be changed and live peacefully with what exists. It is fine to remain with resistance and disagreement, but give up hatred.


This led to a long conversation about the way to forgive without covering the disapproval of the act. One of the participans shared how she could forgive her father who abused her as a child. Lack of forgiveness leaves the act inside me and makes me punish myself.


Forgiveness has three stages: expressing anger at what happened, forgiving and freedom.


Dec 27, 2018

10 encounters in July-October

July 2018


During this month we held four encounters, on:

3.7, 17.7, 24.7, 31.7


This month a new participant joined us/ her name is Rachel (violin) and she started attending encounters regularly. The more veteran participants also continued to come: Marwan, Shani, Dror, Yuval and Yaser.


We worked on our regular repertoire, and on integrating Rachel in the songs we already play. In addition, we worked on an original song written by Marwan.


August 2018


In this month we met three times, on: 7.8, 14.8, 28.8


Participants: Marwan, Shani, Dror and Rachel.


We worked on the regular repertoire, with emphasis on the coordination between us.

A few of the songs we played: Yair Bint al Sultan, Lama Haketz, Erev Shel Shoshanim, Fug el-Nahl.


September 2018


We began the month with a rehearsal on 4.9 in which we ran through our entire repertoire. We especially focused on songs that we planned to play later in the week, in the Day of Interfaith Encounter.


In the Day of Interfaith Encounter on 6.9 we performed in front of all its participants and it was very nice!


Then we entered a period of Holidays and did not meet until the end of the month.



October 2018


During this month we had only one encounter, on 2.10. In this encounter we hosted a reporter from NPR who came to interview and record us for a story about our activity. Here is the story:


Later in the month we experienced cancelations due to illnesses and other constrains, but in November we came back to regular rehearsals.


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