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March 14, 2015

Sunset over the Judean hills, this evening, from my perch in Jerusalem Forest. The woods are bursting with life, springtime. Wildflowers roaring across the terraced earth, in soil that was once farmed by the people in the village up the hill, Hirbet Hamama. Ruins now, the sheikh’s house biggest, at the hill’s crest.

I gathered some substantial branches, stripped them clean and schlepped them down the forest path back to the car, and in the headlights broke them up with my hatchet and filled the trunk with my booty, ready to fuel tomorrow’s Israeli-Palestinian Sulha tribal fire near Jericho. Two taxi-loads of new participants will come from Hebron! In addition to listening circles, we’ll include a joyous session of “Biodanza.” Since we’ll be in the territories, the Palestinians will not need permits, so we’re likely to get some unexpected visitors.

We Israelis look three evenings ahead with unbearable suspense, hoping fervently that voters will deliver the key, this week, to the future. On Wednesday, will we look to a different dawn, will circumstance finally agree to beckon us forward? Or will we awaken to Wednesday, helplessly flailing about in our canoe, far from shore, as we are drawn down the river toward the looming falls?

Will the gut disgust for the present political and social reality, and the man who commands it, hold sway over our fears? Will this longing for the Israel of our hearts fill our sails? Will enough of us overcome our unwillingness to cast the ropes to the dock and set out to sea, to seek our fortune in more hospitable waters?

No change in circumstance will transform our lives. The day after Herzog’s victory, our task will be prodigious. As Fidel said when Havana fell, “Now we begin the revolution.”

Dusk gave way to darkness and I prepared to leave the forest, when two blackbirds swooped down to chirp at me, to announce that they were there. Once they had my attention, they returned to their treetop and one of them turned loose his marvelous song, improvising like crazy. I like to think it was a he, courting his sweetheart. I like to think he’s our herald, calling forth the fertility of new life, as we plan to celebrate the rebirth of hope, of intention, here in this gorgeous spring.

Yoav Peck



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  1. Michal Schonbrun permalink

    Amen v’Amen.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Shoshana London Sappir permalink

    May the blackbirds carry your hopes and prayers up to the gates of heaven

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