As Many Shavuot As It Takes

Tomorrow will be the 21st Shabbat of demonstrations in Tel Aviv which started as a protest to Yariv Levin’s announcement on January 4th 2023, that as a justice Minister he is planning a wide- ranging judicial reform.
 The following Shabbat thousands of protesters gathered in Habima and as the crowd grew larger, it has spread to Kaplan street all the way down to the intersection with Menachem Begin (more than 2 kilometers). If we count the 21st week by days, it means that we have been protesting  for 3 weeks straight. And that without taking into account demonstrations which took place in the middle of the week, marches, and emergency protests, such as the one which happened spontaneously the night when Netanyahu fired Yoav Galant, his Security Minister. That night furious citizens got out of bed and rushed to the streets. It was a startling and unforgettable night.
I cannot recall a similar time in Israel when a government so cruelly and cynically trampled on its citizens, dismantled the values specifically written in the Declaration of Independence by the founders of the state, and looted the money saved for the future of our country.
In the week prior to Shavuot  people started sharing  on social media a special kind of card, at first glance it seemed just like another holiday greeting, but upon a second look it had a painful message. It is a  sign featuring the flag of Israel,  with a determined fist in front of it and inside the fist a sheaf of wheat. The title in Hebrew  is  “As Many Weeks As It Takes”. This  is a Hebrew  pun on the name of the holiday “Shavuot” (שבועות) which means weeks. The treason for this name  has to do with counting the days in the seven weeks period  (The Omer) from Passover until the harvest in Shavuot .
The struggle in Israel to preserve democracy, and to resist the attempt to make us  a dictatorship is long and hard. It has been going on for weeks and unlike the 7 weeks of counting the Omer  which end with the harvest in Shavuot,  there is no happy end in sight. But as the signs says we will be there as long as it takes because we have no choice, and  quoting another popular sign in Kaplan  “We Don’t Have Any Other Country.
About the Author
I have a PhD in English literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and I usually write about issues concerning women, literature, culture and society. I lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994). I am widow and in March 2016 started a support/growth Facebook group for widows: "Widows Move On." In October 2017 I started a Facebook group for Older and Experienced Feminists. .
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