I have been trying to think my way into some of the things we could achieve on this group and this is my first idea. We have here on ipeace and beyond some amazing poets who can inspire others; with their words of peace and hope, with their sorrow and pain, with their reaching out to others and their willingness to build a more tolerant and respectful world.

So this is the idea here. We have this barrier built between Israel and the Occupied Territories of Palestine. This barrier is a metaphor for the barriers that exist in the hearts of humans; this terrible separation and isolation we all feel towards those that are different from us, this alienation that our leaders like to sress. WHAT IF we could build a bridge of words and ideas between the two sides that do not reflect these political differences but show that each of us has our worth to each other.

I know there are amazing poets out there in both these lands that are writing some wonderful lines about their situation and about how they hope for peace and the eradication of all barriers that divide us.

So here is the challenge I put to you. To write poetry about how the people on the other side might feel. Let us try to think about a bridge of words and feelings about each other.

[ However let it be said here and now, that if there is any attempt to ‘flame,’ insult, threaten or any other unpleasantness, posts will be deleted and members may be removed from the group…so be positive and let’s show our respect and love for others.]

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a little poem i wrote entitled freedom
Freedom...
The privilage of freedom is only given to the few
but for the many freedom exists only in their minds view
peace and freedom can only conquer
when we stop the need for want, greed and squander
my voice is one - and but a whisper
but spoken out may gain a listener
when multiplied a voice gets stronger
then soon an army- the few can't hold no longer
remember freedom is a privalige and free for all
when the few realise this there will be no need for WAR!
just one last thing before i go
the few only exists because we say so
and for those of you who choose not to listen
thats your right and choice
and not my decision
Steve Westwood
Copyright ©2008 Steve Westwood

.....hi Renee...i made it here...it's really nice making your accuaintance too
Here are the lyrics of a song I wrote, with a few numbers updated . . .

LAND IN THE MIDDLE
(copyright 1978, Hayyim Feldman)

[Spoken intro:]
This is a song I wrote for the 30th anniversary of both the founding of the State of Israel and, though I didn't know the word at the time, for the Palestinian Naqba (catastrophe) - two sides of a single event in 1948. The last line of the song mentions "the Jubilee." This refers to a Torah law from Va-Yikra (Leviticus), chapter 25, that designates every fiftieth year a Yovel, or in English, Jubilee year. For the land, it was a year of rest from cultivation and harvest; landholdings amassed by the wealthy were redistributed to their former owners; bondservants were released; and all debts were forgiven. A few selected biblical verses:

And you shall sanctify the fiftieth year, and shall call out freedom throughout the land
for all who dwell in her; it shall be a Yovel (a Jubilee) for you, and you shall return,
each man to his holding, and each man to his family shall return.

And you shall not wrong one another, but you shall revere your G!d,
for I, [the Holy Name], am your G!d.

And the land will give her fruit and you shall eat to satisfaction,
and you shall dwell safely upon her.

And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity because the land is Mine,
for you are sojourners and residents with Me.


So here it is, "Land in the Middle," a song for two voices:

-------- Beginning of song --------

[Both voices:]
I love a land in the middle of the earth
a land so proud and warm
I love a land in the middle of the earth
a land so strong and torn.

- -

[First voice:]
My family fled a war o'er that piece of earth
a thousand years gone by
Like a wind-driven leaf we were swept across the earth
but the memories didn't die.

They spoke about the land in the middle of the earth
wherever we did roam
They said we would return to our people's land of birth
they said we'd have a home.

Then I heard a call from the end of time,
"Sisters, brothers, build us up a life!"
And I ran to the land to inherit what was mine
I found it torn with strife.

- -

[Second voice:]
I love a land not far from here
that's where I was born
I haven't been there in 30 years [update: 60, or many ]
but I know where I belong.

My father worked the land like his father had before
a good land now grown old
'Til the strangers came, said that we'd have to leave
our own home had been sold.

I was only four when we fled the war
but the mem'ries cling like dust
And I will return and we will return
and I will do what I must.

- -

[Both voices:]
I am the land in the middle of the earth
that they're fighting to redeem
One learned to call me Isra'el
the other, Falastin.

I am the land in the middle -
they tell me that I'm blessed
When the Jubilee comes in 20 years
I'll have a time to rest.

When the Jubilee comes in 20 years
I'll have a time to rest.

[update: If the Jubilee comes each 50 years
When's my time to rest? ]
Hayyim, well done..very well done.
We have now finished the Sabbatical year, the 7th year when the Land rests.
Our Land has not seen its rest yet.

Rather than passively lie fallow
It is being torn open and ripped apart

I would like to be optimistic and think that maybe in 7 years there will be some rest..but maybe you are right and it will take 50...or 100 or 150.

Nevertheless, as the man who fulfills the Biblical command to plant trees on entering the land..
We have the obligation and the privilege to try to plant the seeds of peace now, every day, even if it will be only for our children or our children's children to pick the fruits.
Thank you Myron. Since we don't know which is the year of the yovel, G!d willing let the next shmittah year be revealed to us as the 49th!

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