9Adar Project, a Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict

Compiled by Vavi Toran

 

Machloket (“Dispute for the Sake of Heaven” or Constructive Conflict) is among the great Jewish ideas.  Jews have been doing it for thousands of years.  We are grateful to our friends at the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution for creating the 9Adar Project, a Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict.  We are partnering with them to promote the study of Constructive Conflict here in Northern California, from February 12-20, 2016, culminating in the Feast of Jewish Learning on February 20th.

We have created this page to support you, our local educators as you find creative ideas and new pathways to bring the theme of constructive conflict to your classroom, through the lens of Israel. In addition to our resources below, you can find more resources and curricula about constructive conflict generally from the 9Adar Project in Jerusalem here.

We hope you find these resources useful and inspirational.

Four talked about the pine tree. 
One defined it by genus, species, and variety. 
One assessed its disadvantages for the lumber industry. 
One quoted poems about pine trees in many languages. 
One took root, stretched out branches, and rustled.
— Conversation (Sicha), a poem by Dan Pagis | Israeli Poet (1930-1986) | Translated by Rabbi Steven Sager

Machloket (Constructive Conflict) 

ARTS & CULTURE

The word Machloket in Hebrew shares its root chet-lamed-kuf with words that include: division, discord, partial, share, plot of land, smooth, slippery and flattery.

The road to constructive conflict, especially in Israel, has to be paved with honesty and respect for passionate people who don’t share the same opinions – in some cases about a plot of land.

Let’s make it a smooth rather than slippery process.

Here are a few examples how Israeli artists, poets, musicians and writers deal with machloket:

Two Elements a poem by Zelda
The poem represents a dialogue between the vocal and passionate flame and the silent and proud pine. How are these two elements alike and how are they different? Do we contain both the flame and the pine? Is this an inner conflict? What is the conflict about? Is this machloket solvable? How? How could a real dialogue between the two elements sound?
More about Zelda
 


There’s No Machloket
A song by Shalom Hanoch
(Hebrew lyrics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis
Is this machloket really just a small misunderstanding? Perhaps if the two sides really listen to one another they will find they have a lot in common. With a biblical reference for a pastoral and peaceful future together, Shalom Hanoch moves from a misunderstanding between Ami and Tami to the more acute machloket between Ami and Sami, Sami and Zami.

A few things that might get lost in translation: Ami and Tami are the Hebrew equivalent of Hansel and Gretel, or two typical Israeli names. Ami can also be interpreted as “my people” or “my nation,” Mami is a common endearment, Sami might be a sephardic name, and Zami is an Arabic name.

There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
Get wet from the same rain
Live in the same country
Hate each other’s guts a bit
Cause each other a bit of trouble
Be a bit mean to each other, ‘cause basically
There is no Machloket
There is no Machloket
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
Drink the same water
Take shelter under the same Schina (Divine Presence) 
Hurt each other a bit on the way
Attack only as a defense
And maybe it’s because that really
There is no Machloket
It’s just a small misunderstanding
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
When we find King David
The picture will certainly change
We shall sit comfortably at home
Under a vine and the shade of a fig tree
We shall live in peace ‘cause basically
There is no Machloket
It’s just a small misunderstanding
A small misunderstanding
No Machloket
Between Ami and Tami
Between Tami and Ami
Between Ami and Mami
Between Mami and Sami
Between Sami and Zami
Between Ami and Sami
And Rami
And Ami
Between Ami and Tami
Between Tami and Ami
— Lyrics and Music: Shalom Hanoch

VISUAL ARTS

Visual artists express their opinions on canvas, walls or other media. Occasionally they have visual conversations and even banter in galleries or on city walls. We bring you a variety of art samples to explore and interpret.

David Reeb and Avner Bar Hama are artists who use the map of Israel in their artwork and present opposing political views. The questions they raise represent a central machloket in Israeli society – the issue is the Green Line and its inclusion or omission from official maps.

Green line by David Reeb
In the mid-1980s, the Green Line (which marks the pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel) became a dominant component of David Reeb’s paintings. His representation of this charged political frontier makes a statement about the permanent status the occupation acquired in Israeli consciousness.
Read More

 

Orange Map: Today Gush Katif – tomorrow Jaffa by Avner Bar Hama

Representing the opposing political view, Bar Hama presented a conceptual piece at (L)Attitudes in Washington DC portraying the map of Israel made entirely out of oranges.
Read More

 

Both Sides of Peace - Israeli and Palestinian Political Posters
Book Cover by Yossi Lemel

"Both sides try to get closer but hurt each other. The strings are in the colors of Palestinian and Israeli flags." -Yossi Lemel

Ironically, the metaphor for Israeli born Jews, the Sabra (cactus pear in Arabic)—prickly on the outside, sweet on the inside—is also an Arab symbol of resilience and tenacity, and is a natural fence that keeps in livestock and marks the boundaries of family lands.

 

The Face 2 Face Project
For this project, portraits of Israelis and Palestinians are pasted face to face, in monumental formats on both sides of the separation wall and in several Palestinian and Israeli cities.

More:
4 efforts to diffuse conflict in Israel with art
Peace and Conflict Through Graffiti

Other Resources:

New from the iCenter

APPROACHING CONFLICTS
Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education

Approaching Conflicts is designed to help educators and learners engage sensitive material with more confidence, ask more questions, and challenge assumptions for the purpose of a strong and meaningful relationship with Israel.

STORIES WITH HAPPY ENDINGS
A Conversation Between Etgar Keret and Sayed Kashua

In the summer of 2014 – after a conflict that caused many Israelis, Jews and Arabs, to feel a growing despair for the possibilities of peace – prominent Israeli Palestinian writer Sayed Kashua announced his plans to immigrate to America. Afterwards, in a public exchange of letters, Kashua wrote to Etgar Keret, a popular Israeli Jewish author, to further discuss his decision. The two, longtime friends, discuss their lives and families among lingering possibilities of peace and coexistence while expressing exhaustion with continuing violence and conflict.

MORE RESOURCES

Encounter’s Communication Guidelines
Transforming conflict through face-to-face understanding

The guidelines serve as the blueprint for our common values.  They help to create a framework in which people of diverse ideological view­points can explore deeply contentious and charged topics respectfully. These guidelines enable questions to be framed in ways that speakers are able to hear, without feeling attacked, and reframing comments and statements into genuine questions.

Art Bridge

Creativity for Peace

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More 9Adar Resources can be found here.

To share additional resources, please comment below.