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women in black poster

Women in Black poster

I guess I am a fool, but I am not attending worship services again this important week.  There is no one to celebrate a Seder and our faith community just schedules their gathering with the ever growing group of Temple friends.  I do not attend most Christian services anymore because it is such a huge event of Entertainment – which means tons of fancy clothing and perfume.  Add all the visitors with out-gasing toxic laundry products, shampoos and deodorants it makes the gathering a nightmarish, experience.   This year I decided to watch the news instead.

Too much US vs. THEM I turned it off and went walking and to smell the flowers.  When I returned home an old 1990 day planner called the Everywoman’s Almanac  caught my eye.  I could not remember why I did not throw it out; I did remember the lovely bookstore where I purchased it and how important it was to me. I truly savored the brief stories and art that surrounded the days of the week.   When I opened it, I knew why I could not throw it away and what an amazing record of my hours spent working for PEACE.

I would like to share two of the excerpts from the book.  The first piece is about Felicia Langer   an Israeli human rights lawyer and activist.  All of her work has been defending Palestinians and Israeli dissidents.  In 1988, she was the vice president of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights.

When I came to Israel in 1950 I saw that there was an Arab population under military rule.  I couldn’t understand how it was possible that we, the Jews, who were discriminated against so much, could put another people in a prison.  I felt suffocated.

The second stage of suffocation occurred in 1967 when the oppression in the Occupied Territories began.  I had been a lawyer for two years and I said to myself, “I have a skill, I can do something.  I have to do something, otherwise I cannot survive.”  I decided to open an office in Jerusalem.

I was told, “You’re a Jew, an Israeli, and a woman, why should Arabs believe you, and you don’t even speak Arabic?”  Everybody was skeptical.  The mother of my first client came and spoke about her son’s shirt which was stained with blood from his torture in Hebron prison.  I thought about my son, Michael.  I didn’t speak, but if felt as though there was no barrier between us.  We became friends then, without a language, without common culture or origin.  You can lie with words, but it’s very hard to lie if you feel something very strongly.

For years we had to fight in order to have a line in the papers about the Occupied Territories.  Now it is better.  We have peace forces and a strong opposition.  But I am not satisfied with the amount of people who are protesting the Occupation.  Every day, the death toll is terrible.  A society that is tolerating murders is cultivating murder.  This tolerance is a tragedy, not only for the Palestinians but also for us.  Therefor we have to expose the ugliness of what is happening.  If they want to beautify it, we have to expose it relentlessly.

I have so much love for everything which is human, that it is hard to speak about being self-hating.  What I really hate is discrimination, I hate inflicting pain and sorrow and I hate murderers.  But I very much love those who are fighting against them.

I got a prize at Dachau in memory of a German lawyer who fought against fascism.  I asked my friends, “Munich is so close to Dachau.  Didn’t you know what was going on?”  They answered, “Those who didn’t want to know, didn’t know.”  It’s the same in Israel.  Nobody can live with the excuse that they don’t know.  I think that silence in such a time is complicity.”

The second piece is about the “Women in Black” group which was organized in 1988. Our group still meets at the busiest intersection of the city on Friday nights during rush hour.    Mothers are still silently praying for peace all over the world.

Women in Black organized a weekly gathering in Jerusalem.  Every Friday form 1pm to 2pm, about eighty women dressed in black gather and stand in a circle holding black signs that read “End the Occupation.”  They have been gathering since January 1988, a month after the Intifada, the current Palestinian uprising in the Occupied Territories, began.

More than 3,000 women, Jewish and Arab, have contributed to a quilt by adding a square containing her name and a political slogan, saying or poem.

So here we have arrived with a week of eating unleavened bread and waving branches of palm to mark our sorrow and all around me is the ravages of Us vs. Them – Jesus was all about giving to Caesar what was Caesars; healing and peace.    I guess we are just celebrating bling these days with plenty of chocolate on the side.

How are you working on peace?   Do you want to know?  Do you want to see?

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s   from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket!

Related Reading:
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Women Wars
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
Temple Grandin:  a movie review

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17 Responses to “Hosanna”

  1. Jannie Funster Says:

    ” I hate murderers. But I very much love those who are fighting against them.” I agree with her feeling on that, completely. Bullies need to be stopped.

    How am I working on peace? Great question. Well… it all starts and ends at home, so that’s where I’m planting and tending my garden.

    And writing songs I believe in, carefully, as words are so so powerful.

    Oh, the perfumes, yes. I can’t abide them either. Hubby wears aftershave, but I’ve gotten him to put just a minimal amount.

    Jannie Funster recently posted..Somewhere In ColoradoMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I can not believe the world is still fighting all over the place and this post is about all the work we did in 1988 and those conflicts are even worse now! Frustration

    Yes loving songs fill the air and uplift our vibrations and spirits.

    I could not even go to the gym to work out any more as the toxic air from folks personal products just makes me sneeze and so sick. – It reaches overwhelming levels in closed spaces of any kind and it is certainly heavy duty now days.

  2. Susan Says:

    Hosanna is the term which means pray, am I right? This holy week is very important to us Catholics.
    Susan recently posted..Buckwheat Pillow Review ArticleMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    Hosanna is a call to prayer of the praise sorts – positive thinking and gratitude. It is a huge part of the Palm Sunday celebrations

  3. Talon Says:

    When I am out in nature, that is when I feel closest to that which is divine.

    Peace shouldn’t be such a complicated thing, really, should it?

    patricia Reply:

    Peace should not be such a complicated thing – but I think egos are – individual and community.

    I miss singing so much – I think that is what I miss the most…but listening to the lovely bird song on Sunday morning as I ran the track in a space of no rain was divine indeed


  4. Joanna Paterson Says:

    How are you working on peace? is such a beautiful and important question.

    I try to bring peace to my own heart (by being in the natural world and listening / learning / opening).

    I try to spread a little bit of peace in the world through photographs and words – I try to infuse them with a spirit of love and peace. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like enough, but it seems to be all that I have.
    Joanna Paterson recently posted..Blossom, With an Echo of DoubtMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    Nice to find you words here and I wish you a lovely spring – I still would like to take a writing workshop in Scotland – that sounds very peaceful.

    In my youth, I was so much noisier about PEACE…of course, I was seeing my friends die in Viet Nam or be traumatically damaged.
    Now I still walk the lake and visit with the homeless veterans from so many wars who just can not seem to find home.
    Peace to you and your words

  5. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. I don’t attend Church .. but both my mother and I have our old fashioned faith – she was a church goer .. and I have the priests visit now ..

    I love the old fashioned English church and cathedral services – I don’t like being preached at, or told what to do .. and I hate being labelled – there are still some lovely Church services here in the old fashioned way .. and those I prefer .. I go up to my mother’s and watch services there (if and when I can) .. my mother doesn’t often wake up ..

    I’ve liked the Ceremonial Services we’ve been having here in the UK and listening and reading to commentary to how they’re made up .. ie what’s incorporated into the service and why – Catherine and William’s wedding last year was one .. and the Jubilee, and 90th birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh .. it’s interesting getting the historical take on it ..

    I hate war and the power that men seem to get to instigate it .. well it’s not worth commenting on .. it frustrates me too much ..

    Have a blessed Easter week and some lovely days listening to the birds raise their voices skywards .. Hilary

    patricia Reply:

    I just think war is obsolete and I prefer a good book discussion and thinking conversation to church. I like my history on your blog – Thank you very much/ though I am not opposed to a good movie or documentary

    My greatest trauma came from the church…I am working on letting that go and moving on…I have lots of baggage with those folks

  6. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Wonderful post. Nature is my cathedral and peace resides in my heart.

    patricia Reply:

    Thank you Laurie, I also feel a sense of peace when I use some of those “potty mouth” words you talked about in your funny post

    I have been celebrating this week by watching some of Sam’ s great recommendations on Wonders in the Dark http://wondersinthedark.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/jiro-dreams-of-sushi-bully-children-of-paradise-nanni-moretti-film-festival-and-game-of-thrones-at-monday-morning-diary-april-2/

    not always peaceful but then I love to think too :)

    patricia Reply:

    Thank you Laurie,
    I always feel very peaceful after using some of those “potty mouth” words from you funny post!

    I am also enjoying watching some movies from Sam’s recommendations at WONDERS IN THE DARK http://wondersinthedark.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/jiro-dreams-of-sushi-bully-children-of-paradise-nanni-moretti-film-festival-and-game-of-thrones-at-monday-morning-diary-april-2/

  7. susan Says:

    Hi Patricia,
    I remember back in the 60’s I actually marched for peace. Seems odd – marching – for peace? I send peace and love into the Universe now on a much quieter level.

    Most wars in our history have had religious involvement and boy yes, I agree the us vs them kind of thing – nothing good will EVER come of that! I dropped out of all it. Some of my former Christian friends (I say former cuz when I dropped out, they dropped me!) think I’m witch who will burn in hell because I took astrology courses and bought a Buddha in the 90’s. Ah, enlightenment…………..
    susan recently posted..Postive Thinking Adds Years to Your Life!My Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I know about church and most of my friends leaving me behind…most because I went to seminary and they thought I was a religious nutcase and too pious….Ha ha…I ended up more Buddhist than anything else…

    I did lots of marching and protesting and voter registration drives, and have been arrested in my youth.

    I work at being peaceful myself in thought word and deed…

    I think those at WAR and NOISY about it are just exposing their pain without understanding…Mediation is so win-win and peaceful, I can not imagine why everyone does not convert…

    …and nonviolent communication – well just turn up the dopamine for being heard and respected

  8. Sara Says:

    I really liked the excerpts you shared. I loved this line, “You can lie with words, but it’s very hard to lie if you feel something very strongly.”

    I always felt that emotions are the universal language. We can speak to each other through our emotions without knowing our language of words. I often think we’d be better in some ways if we did communicate this way, but there are downsides to emotions as well.

    Your question about peace. I think the adage, “It begins at home” fits me. If I learn how to be peaceful (and mean it) then I will show it to others. I think humans have the ability to feel the energy of others. If our energy is peaceful; it will create a mirror for others who may feel less peaceful.

    I’m not saying this always works, but it a start:~)

    I hope you have a great weekend, Patricia!
    Sara recently posted..Center of the SoulMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    I am waiting for family and friends to come in the door and just wondering what I need to do next – beds are all ready and I was able to hang sheets outside…I think it will be a very busy weekend and very good…2 of my kiddos are are WICKED tonight treating each other :)

    I am working on the peace full so that I will not be so busy with the events I can find the joy in it all…

    Our women in black group here, had over 200 women standing tonight from 5 to 6 pm To think it all started in 1988..tonight we are having a sunset instead of a rain and a beautiful rainbow this morning.

    Yes, I think peace begins within….you share such good words Thank you