Saturday, November 21, 2009

Notes from the Field

Here are two meaningful things that I’ve been intending to post for over week now…

The Value of Breira in Peace-Building

I recently wrote to my friend, mentor, and former boss, Dr. Beth Jaret, Director of Breira B’Ramah:

As part of the Arava Institute all students must take part in the semester-long non-credit “Peace Building and Environmental Seminar.” Last week we had a six hour session (yeah, I know) on Compassionate Listening. Although I thought this was going to be long and drawn out, it actually was very good and helped people open up. I realized again what I have noticed in the last year or two, that working with Breira and the training you provided has made me a pretty good listener. As we know, most people (especially our campers) usually have the best solutions to their problems. So, if you just give people a chance to talk and truly express themselves, it can make things much easier. Thank you for that.

But, I also noticed that sometimes when I'm not specifically in the role of "Breira Counselor," I forget this important skill. I believe this especially happens in situations like here, where everyone feels they must really defend their opinions. Thus, this session was actually a very good remainder of one of the most important communication skills. As many of the conversations here are often very politically and emotionally charged, I am working hard to actively listen well and "give peace a chance."

Seriously, you should try it. It really works in everyday life. And, it’s definitely a start in peace work.

A Biblical Note

While sitting in my class Bible as a Key to Environmental Thought, I found an amazing verse about the joining of beloveds, hidden in the middle of B’reishit.

Genesis 2:24

Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh.

I think this is a beautiful view of love, marriage, and family!

[In addition, feminist readers, take note: Man clings to Woman. WOW!]

While there is a lot I could say, both negative and positive, about this one verse, I will simply say that I hope part of this philosophy is a major part of my marriage one day.

And, if you are in the mood for an enchanting, heartfelt, exemplary love story, read this (plus it even mentions “kibbutz”): The Obama’s Marriage

This post had a bit of a different tone than normal. I would love to hear your thoughts. Simply hit “comments” and tell us what you think.


1 comment:

  1. Hahaha, love your feminist reader shoutout! As a feminist, I don't believe that marriage is limited to one man and one woman, but I definitely agree that husbands should cling to their wives, and vice versa. There was a piece of sad news recently: A study found that women who become seriously ill are 6 to 7 times more likely to be left by their husbands than sick husbands are to be left by their wives. I think husbands in hetero couples might need a lesson in clinging...