B’Seder

B’Seder

This is now my favorite Hebrew word. It means OK. Israelis were on their cell phones constantly. Whether they were ordering cabs, organizing our work schedules, meal  plans and everything else. The word “b’seder” was repeated over and over.

When the conversation turned to politics though, it was clear that everything was not b’seder. The people we worked with seemed to feel that their government has made some bad choices and they are not happy with their leaders. They are especially unhappy about how they are viewed by the rest of the world.  More than one person said “ what can we do?” They are looking for solutions and feel misrepresented by their political leaders  ( sounds kind of familiar). They particularly resent the  Ultra Orthodox community who don’t serve in the army. They want peace very badly, of course,and many of them are willing to sacrifice the land to get it. One artist (whose son works with explosives in the tunnels) said “ the Arabs are here, they’ve always been here. We should be able to live in peace together, but there are too many Israelis who want war to solve the problems. ”

At the end of my journey home, I was getting off the plane after the 12 hour flight. Waiting for everyone to de-plane, I was standing behind an elderly Christian couple. As we walked slowly down the aisle,the woman looked at the incredible mess, filth, trash and food left on the plane where one of the many Hasidic families sat. I cannot express how embarassed I was. This Christian woman turned to me shaking her head and said, “ we have to learn to care more about one another.”

I don’t want to end the trip with any negativity. It was a journey of a lifetime. It was all about making connections with other artists from the US and Israel, the Israeli schoolchildren, the teachers, our guides and all the planners of the program. Everyone’s kindness and caring made it a very special experience. Strangers who helped you on the train, soldiers who lifted your luggage for you, children who sang  the words to John Lennon’ s “Imagine all the People.”  It was truly  a unique and wonderful way to see the country. But there are big problems, difficult decisions and huge obstacles to overcome. If only our government and the leaders of Israel would take to heart the words of the woman on the plane” we have to learn to care more about one another.”

I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to create a mosaic  in Israel and to give the  Israeli children we worked with the message that  we do care about them and we hope and pray for peace.

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