Posts Tagged ‘Jewish leaders come together in Jerusalem’

No Greater Joy

December 5, 2012


Christian, Muslim, Jewish leaders come together in Jerusalem

What is it that gets us to move beyond our comfort zone and reach out to “other” to our sworn enemy, to the ones we have been taught to fear?  How many times does our history need to show us that there is no “bad” group of people before we actually take it in and believe it?  It wasn’t true about African Americans, Native Americans, Russians, etc… so logic would have it – it’s not true about Muslims, Arabs, etc… either.  I stopped telling people I was traveling to Egypt in the months leading up to my departure, because I was typically met with shock, looks of fear, and words of caution.  I had been having beautiful experiences talking to people in the Middle East for well over three years on a regular basis, but the fear of some insisted on sticking to the stereotypes put forth by the media.  Well here’s the revelation – I can’t think of any greater joy than the continual process of discovery of oneness, kinship and friendship with “the other” – especially with those people we have been taught to fear.  When the fear drops away, looking into the eyes of another, there is no greater freedom and joy than to feel trust and openness renewed.  This is part of my journey here in Egypt – I want to smash the stereotypes of both East and West one person at a time.

There are so many doing this work here in the Middle East – I get to witness their courage on a daily basis through Facebook posts.  I want to bring your attention to the work of a friend of mine, Aviva Lev-David.  I have worked with Aviva for many years through a transformative group process called Naka Ima.  Aviva expresses beautifully her journey living in Israel and the programming of fear toward her Palestinian neighbors.  She is one of the brave ones who chose to move out of her comfort zone and seek truth.  In the final phase of her PhD in depth psychology, she will bring Christian, Muslim, and Jewish women together to share their favorite places with each other in Jerusalem.  Aviva explores her own relationship to what feeling a sense of place and feeling a sense of home means to herself and to these women in a land full of conflict over these very concepts.  I feel this is important work and I urge you to go to her website and read about this journey, donate if you can, and share with your friends and family.  I can vision this journey becoming a book someday soon – I hope so!

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