The sharp divide currently running through our country is not restricted to the inability of Israelis to find a path to accommodation and peace within our walls. It is also evident in the contrast between the discordant and dangerous high-decibel confrontation that we are witnessing in the Knesset and on the streets, and the magnificent, harmonic, hushed blooming of our countryside, from deep South to far North.
It is remarkable to see how diverse complexions and configurations of our flora are flourishing side by side, together creating a gentle, calming kaleidoscope of color. Carpets of red poppies and yellow mustard laid out on fields of green are highlighted by white almonds, blue lupines and many other varieties, creating a feast for our eyes and a balm for our ears.
Roaming around Darom Adom, Jerusalem’s hills and the Upper Galilee, we encountered a common denominator and kindred spirit among the people we passed along the way, secular to haredi, Eastern and Western, Jew and Arab. It showed a love and respect for the land with a wave of a hand from passersby, a kind greeting, and a shared appreciation for this bountiful blessing.
All of our leaders should spend time in nature
How fitting it is that the Knesset celebrates its anniversary on Tu Bishvat. All of our leaders should spend a few days out in nature at the time of its blooming. The exercise would dissipate anger, calm passions and enhance perspective. And it could just foster a realization that different shades and shapes are able to live side by side with mutual tolerance.
Beyond enhancing the existence of the individual, diversity and respectful dialogue enriches the well-being of the panoramic whole. Not just in the floral domain, but in the human one as well.
May our winter of discontent metamorphose into a spring of goodwill among us all.