Dear parents, shnattim, bogrim, bogrot, communities and friends shalom rav,
Another typical week of Shnat Netzer on Kibbutz Lotan- probably one of the last ones.... - work, pool, education, Hebrew, cooking, chilling, living in the desert. Perhaps something new this week is that some of the shnattim are now working out of the date fields, either in tourism or in the Refet- milking cows.
As the High Holy Days are approaching, each week will have either a holiday to celebrate, or a special event, i.e. pioneers seminar, AZYC closing seminar etc. Wishing us all happy Rosh Hashana and a meaningful year.
Weekly update from the group-
The Fuzz and The Focus By Charley Katan
Every so often, maybe only 3 or 4 times a year, I become aware of a somewhat strange feeling in my stomach – a kind of stirring, driving force which stems from several weeks or months of subconscious thought – the type of feeling which leads me back here, to my little dusty corner of the internet. You guessed it, it’s blogging time once more.
September is always a weird month. After a few precious weeks and months of overlap, watching your friends diverge once more as they continue down their separate paths is bittersweet. It’s possible that returning from my gap year in June meant that my interactions with friends this summer were more centred around filling each other in on the highlights and lowlights of the last 8-12 months than usual, however I feel like this type of interaction becomes more commonplace with age. Everyone has their own path and does their own thing, and there’s often not enough time while you both occupy the same city/country to hear about each other’s past experiences and then experience new things together.
However, a lot of my conversations this summer have centred around a recurring theme which I believe is a central challenge faced by our generation. The challenge is this; everyone wants to be and do so much. Too much, almost. There are a thousand different jobs and a thousand different causes and millions of different people to meet and new horizons to explore. And all of these things – the causes, the people, the places – are just out of reach. We can see them in our forward vision, floating tantalisingly close to our outstretched palms, but at the last second, our vision clouds and our goals become frustratingly intangible once more.
The mundane is all too tangible. In one day, I can happily cram in 3 different meals with 3 different people and burn my money away in different establishments around North London, returning home in the small hours of the morning, yet still managing to cram in 2 more episodes of Gilmore Girls before I eventually surrender to sleep. Endless days and weeks fly by in this manner. But the second I try to do something more constructive, it is one hundred times harder to reach the same level of productivity. It’s as if all of my meaningful pursuits live behind a wall in my brain, deep in The Fuzz, a foggy wasteland where gravity is 50 times stronger and getting anything done takes 50 times longer.
Of course, there is also The Fuzz’s antithesis; The Focus. Random, brief bursts of intense clarity and productivity, when everything just seems to slot into place and the world seems to be a blank canvas for you to decorate exactly as you wish. The issue is, at the moment the ratio of time spent in The Fuzz versus time spent in The Focus is about 90:10. Which isn’t ideal.
But, maybe that’s fine. Maybe that’s part of being 19 and being ‘half-baked’. We don’t need all the answers, nor do we need to be ready to deliver the solutions. At least we have direction, and at least we care about things enough to be frustrated by our inability to change them. And one day soon, we’ll be ready. The Fuzz will lift, and The Focus will take its place. And we’ll have some of the answers and some of the solutions (though never all of them, that’s just impossible).
Anyway. These are just my meditations and musings on life at the moment. I’m sure there’s more to come, once university starts and the baking process resumes once more.
Oh, and just a brief disclaimer to end on. The very fact that I’ve decided to pick up my laptop today and share my thoughts with you is inherently narcissistic and self-obsessed to a certain degree. For whatever reason, I’ve deemed my thoughts or my opinions important enough to deserve your time and attention. I am also well aware that calling attention to the fact that the act of blogging is narcissistic doesn’t make me any less of a narcissist. Maybe all of this is just the inevitable nature of a reader-writer dynamic. Writing is something of a release for me – it’s a positive tool that I use to declutter my head and process my thoughts. So, in conclusion, I just hope that reading this will leave you with something positive and constructive.
See you never x
Help us keep pressure up at the Kotel
In 2013, IRAC filed a lawsuit to demand that women and non-Orthodox Jews be allowed to serve on the government's Jewish Heritage Foundation, which controls the Western Wall Plaza.
By January 2016, the government finally proposed a compromise that included establishing a fully funded government recognized egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.
After almost a year of more delays, the Supreme Court convened a hearing last week. The Director of our legal department, Orly Erez-Likhovski, was afraid that the court was going to tell us to withdraw our outdated petition and file a new one, meaning that we would have to start all over again.
Boy was she wrong. I have never seen judges scream as loudly as they did that morning. The court excoriated the government's attorney for not implementing the plan. Chief Justice Miriam Naor told the attorney more than once to take a message directly to the Prime Minister: "The Court is not going to take the chestnuts out of the fire for you." (Translation: "You better get your act together because the Court is not going to do all of the hard work for you.")
The court invited us to amend our petition to update them on everything that has happened, and not happened, since 2013 - and to especially focus on the government's stonewalling since January 2016. We asked until after the holidays to do it, but Justice Elyakim Rubinstein told us that there is no time to waste. We will be filing the amended petition next week.
Orly told me after the hearing: "I was in a state of shock. It is clear that they get it, and that they are not going to tolerate the government breaking its promises this time." I agree, and am getting the sense that 5777 might finally be the Year of the Wall.
P.S. - We are joining other progressive Jewish organizations in a massive email campaign that will be starting on September 24 to demand that the Israeli government do the right thing and honor its word regarding the Western Wall. We're counting on you to help. Stay tuned for details.
You may be psyched to know that we are turning to you to make you famous – or because we think you’re famous already. And now that we got your attention:
We are looking to create a series of videos – YouTube or Vimeo – that show our global Netzernikim\Tamarnikim celebrating the high holidays in all their glory. We want you to create a short video – with other Netzerniks\Tamarniks or just by your lonesome – showing us (or singing to us) how you celebrate the holidays or what these holy days mean to you. It could be special traditions you, your family or your snif do; a recipe you love or have eaten for generations – bonus points for anyone who creates a TASTY style one.
If we’re thinking of what we’re missing this time of year, it’s you guys! So let’s celebrate and share online together – since that’s the only way we can all come together these days, and send us some videos!
We’re waiting to hear from you – send a pigeon or a raven and we’ll be on the lookout for your clips.
Let’s say by September 26th?
Netzer & Tamar Olami- email@example.com
In the Parashat Hashavu'a corner, we will direct you to the World Union for Progressive Judaism's column "Torah from around the world", where each week another Progressive Rabbi writes about the weekly portion. For this week's portion-
Another reason to be proud of our hnat Netzer participants-
#BringThemHere because Shnat Ma'ayan beleives in compassion, not cruelty.
Its time to put an end to offshore processing of refugees on Nauru. Seeking asylum is a human right that all people deserve no matter where they grow up. The people who come to Australia by boat are fleeing persecution, war and suffering, and have no choice in leaving their homes. Why do we get to decide their future?
Australia confirms Manus Island immigration detention centre will close
Immigration minister Peter Dutton offers no details on plans for the 854 detainees, but says none will be resettled in Australia
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,
Lior and the Netzer staff
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