# 162 – Party in Caesaria – Israel by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 162 – Party in Caesaria – Israel

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 410
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 November 14, 2010

Let me entitle this ‘One-sided Truth’. Or perhaps ‘The Truth from my point of view’.

For those of you who think I am radical, this may be a difficult one. If I am radical (and I strongly believe I am not – I am only passionately involved), then this is perhaps the most radical ‘Letter’ I have written. I just believe it’s the most passionate.

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Last night, Aviva & I attended a party at a beautiful home in Caesaria. Perhaps 100 people. Average age perhaps 65. Believe me; wherever they have arrived now in life, these people have been through it. They have seen many wars, they have fought in them. They have experienced terrorism, individually and state-wise.

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Ongoing stress of never experiencing the kind of peace you, the reader, accept as a given. Yet they quite naturally still know how to be ‘at peace’.

First food and chat around the pool. Then the lady sat at the piano, chairs were brought in, and the songs started. When we left, after 1 a.m., they were still going strong.

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These were perhaps the equivalent of 60s pop songs for you and me, gospel songs for the deep south or schmaltzy love songs for the Viennese and Venetians. The songs were written while the country was literally a baby. We giggle at the word ‘pioneer’, but these people, and their parents, are/were pioneers.

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Some subjects:

  • My aunt in America (the impossible love between a boy with a farm on a Moshav settlement and a female soldier, and the money he receives from his rich aunt to help them on their way)

  • About places such as Ein Gedi (kibbutz on the Dead Sea), Eilat, Carmel Mountains, The Dead Sea itself, the Kinneret (Sea Of Galilee), Dimona…

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  • The youth movement (like the scouts – such an important part of Israel’s growth)

  • There are many songs translated from Russian (today’s Russian immigrants do NOT like them, as they recall a time under Stalin). Some focus on the galloping Cossack horsemen, others are a reminder of the Red Army.

  • The hymn of the Communist Party in Israel is ‘The International’ – “Get up, all hungry slaves, and be ready to battle with the enemy – rebuild a new world. With this, you will be lofty and great…

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  • There are peasants’ songs. The shepherd’s song, like the flute, reminds us of the sound of water – “the voice of the heart, a song for children, the voice of the wind in the orchard, a song of the hills, the trees, the clouds and the herds, a song for my little brother”

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  • And to the men, our ‘cowboys’ in the Arava (the area just south of the Dead Sea) – “lost spaces, no trees, no juniper – just a desert wind – thousands of years on the back of an ancient horse, along a wilderness trail”

  • There are songs about girls, named Noa, Lea or Yael

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  • And…Jerusalem of Gold, the song that accompanies the film I want you to watch via the following link. The song is perhaps the unofficial anthem of Israel, written by the late Naomi Shemer (our neighbour – met her often downstairs, usually shuffling behind the supermarket trolley)

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I am told by some of you, “Slow down, Stephen. You write as if we should know”. Well, that’s the point isn’t it? Israel’s complaint, not necessarily about you personally, but about the outside world in general, is that THEY do not know, yet they criticize as if they do. And I am trying to defend this place, trying to illustrate how very special are Israel’s experiences. A decent country, despite it’s unbelievable recent history.

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Imagine those people at the party – and their parents. You don’t have to go much further back than that. Imagine the conditions in this country during the earlier part of the 20th C:

  • Heat

  • Loneliness (many here had no family left – or had left their family over there.

  • A very primitive life.

  • Most lived on the kibbutzes – malaria and many other illnesses, little or no public transport, under constant attack by Arab neighbours

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So they built up a London-during-the-Battle-of-Britain type of unity – a siege mentality.

They could have collapsed with exhaustion, but they did not – they sang and danced.

In Hebrew, there is a word ‘hava-I’ – atmosphere/culture.

And this is what I heard and witnessed at the party.

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Try to understand what’s going on here. Please go to the link –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4bM2QG3r-I&feature=player_embedded

And while I’ve got you by the …hand….watch the next link.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63hTOaRu7h4&feature=player_embedded

Now…let’s see how many literary attacks I receive…..

PS – Thanks, of course, to those 2 who sent me these links

 

Stephen

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