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And into this room, with all the love in it

I too, like Nathan Zach, want to hold on to the fringes of the moment. Touch it. The moment the world around stops at once. And silence. At the moment of the heralding phone ring. In the moment of the headline in the newspaper shouting quietly deafening. The moment the all-too-familiar face is expropriated from the sole discretion and becomes public domain on the television screen. And in that moment. At six in the morning. Sunday. The moment I lifted Haaretz over the doorstep, and the picture on the cover froze my blood and time stopped.


"One quiet moment please. Please, I want to say something. He walked past me. I could touch the edge of his mantle. I did not touch ..."

The moment when the murder in Kiryat Arba was welcomed. The face of Rabbi Eli and his wife Dina, a face that threw me in the blink of an eye for meetings at the "Dor Shalom" branch in Dizengoff Center, in the high yeshiva on Raines Street in Tel Aviv, and in the small apartment in Kiryat Arba.


And for a moment I was again in the black period after the assassination of Rabin, when we all awoke to discover in anxiety that here we are two peoples. That the walls of hostility, suspicion and rage, are rising between us to the point of suffocation. That there is no dialogue. Just guilt and hatred. And in an effort to stop this murky wave, we began to meet a group "of Dor Shalom" with a group led by Rabbi Eli Horowitz and Rabbi Chaim Ganz and their students.


I was late for the first meeting at the synagogue on Raines Street. I went in and everyone was already sitting in a circle, and one man with a soft face and a graying beard spoke. He spoke and there was silence all around, and only the thick glass glasses betrayed a glimmer of cynicism and reticence, which occasionally shone during the very serious discussion he had with himself and us about the differences between Noah and Abraham, and why Abraham was the father of the nation and not Noah, even though he was a righteous man. And innocent in his generations.


That's how I saw him for the first time. The Rabbi Eli. Builds his arguments tier upon tier. Planting an idea that blooms before our eyes into a new idea. And all with some subtle and a bit cynical humor, which covers up an analytical and fascinating analytical ability.


His remarks, which began and ended with Rabbi Kook's teachings, went through Aristotle and Camus, Wittgenstein and Dostoevsky, and he did not miss Sigmund Freud and Otto Weininger either, his ability to bring arguments from Western secular culture thinkers disturbed the balance between the two camps. And I say camp, because despite the attempts to talk, we actually fortified a man in his position. It is with the ownership of the Jewish bookcase, and it carries the banner of humanism and secular education.

And Rabbi Eli, he violated the equation and the automatic division between Judaism and universality. I would sometimes catch a glimpse of a tired, and even a little sarcastic, look that escaped his eyes at the arguments made with so much fervor on our part. A look of someone who has long since forgotten what we just discovered, of someone who knows all the most hidden rifts in the ideology of the other camp, of someone who says to himself a pity about time, or they will see the light at the end or not, and I can change nothing.



The ringing of a telephone brought me back to reality. Followed by another and another. Friends from the days of "Dor Shalom" who also broke the news of their day. For them, too, the murder in Kiryat Arba, which a second earlier still belonged to another, foreign world, suddenly became a near and horrific reality. And another phone rang and another one, and we went to Jerusalem for a funeral.


And on the way, in Bab al-Wad, somewhere near the burnt out armored vehicles that had already seen everything and cried over everything and comforted about everything, I was thrown again for another moment. Far and near alike. The moment of entering Kiryat Arba to visit the house of Rabbi Eli and his wife. For me this trip was especially exciting. I, whose father's grandfather is buried in the old cemetery in Hebron, have been to this city only twice: for the first time as a little girl after the "occupation" in my language, or "return to the ancestral land" - in the language of Rabbi Eli; And a second time at some Peace Now meeting with Sri Nusseibeh and Faisal Husseini at a hotel in the city;

One could see the immense love between this two special couple. The mutual respect, the appreciation. Her gaze as he spoke, his voice as he quoted some of her sayings, these thin and delicate nuances bar, which my secular eyes, accustomed to extroversion and loud chords, picked up without losing a drop

And this was the third time, and very ambivalent. On the one hand, tremendous excitement and some sense of returning to the deepest roots of my being as a Jew and an Israeli, and on the other hand, a huge ideological difficulty. Then we met Rabbi Eli. And what he lied to me from his and Dina's wife's eyes was hotter and closer and more basic than any political statement I've ever stood behind. It was the feeling of coming home.


That was the feeling of us brothers people. Of intimacy that is thicker and stronger than any humane statement, just and correct as it may be. And we entered the book-laden apartment that radiated a lot of warmth and hospitality. Everything was so close, so embracing, so attentive to us, even though Dina was eagerly awaiting a phone call from one of the girls she had to give birth to that night.


And once again one could see the immense love between this two special couple. The mutual respect, the appreciation. Her look when he spoke, his voice when he quoted a statement of hers. All these subtle and delicate nuances, almost hidden from view between loving spouses, that I, my secular eyes accustomed to extroversion and high chords captured without losing a drop. I was excited to discover again and again.



And into this room, with all the love in it, with all the hospitality, with all the wisdom and knowledge; Into this room, on the eve of Holy Saturday, death and murder erupted. And brought us to the moment when we stood among thousands upon thousands of people. In complete silence. At night a frozen Jerusalemite. At the entrance to a yeshiva in the Beit Vagan neighborhood of Jerusalem. A huge and large crowd, standing for hours in endless silence, hearing the rabbis' noises, the father's broken cry, the lament of a son who had just lost his mother and father, the bereaved brother, and the awful silence of grief that connected us all.


And now, after all the astonishment and sorrow and pain, what can be said, what is left to say ... We had a great treasure of wisdom, humanity and love, and see we are no more. Tanzavah


Esti Segal





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