Siach in the Desert (Siach BaMidbar)

By Leah Zigmond, Director of Education Center for Creative Ecology, Kibbutz Lotan

This past Shabbat, several Israeli Siach participants came together at Kibbutz Lotan for an informal gathering of learning, talking, laughing, eating, and continuing to discover how we can all work together and support each other. All of us were coming from busy weeks of Tu B’Shvat celebrations and we started off the gathering with several circles to update each other about what we are doing in our lives and what “fruits” we have harvested since we last saw each other. On Friday evening after dinner, Einat Kramer led a session about the meaning of Shabbat and also about Shabbat and consumerism. The topic of consumerism followed us the next day throughout our morning nature walk as some of us talked about the collective lifestyle of a communal kibbutz versus a more independent lifestyle. We learned a lot about each other’s communities and the kinds of Shabbat celebrations we have at home.

Yotam Avizohar led the Saturday afternoon discussion about collective space vs. private space and we re-asked the ancient questions about what belongs to us as private citizens and what do we hold in common. We wondered about the tragedy of the commons and what it means that people are often more inclined to take care of what they feel ownership of.

Several kibbutz members from Lotan participated in the weekend as well and it was the kind of thing that I think we all felt needs to be repeated. It was terrific just to have time to spend together, to meet each other’s children and spouses and to talk about what the future holds…

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