Giving and Hating

In December 1959, a few days before his death, the writer Albert Camus, winner of the Nobel Prize of Literature, answered an interview. Without knowing it, he was answering for the last time to a journalist’s questions: he died tragically a few days later in a car accident.

One of the questions was: “How do you see the future of humanity? What should be done to have a less oppressed world and a freer one?”

His answer was very simple:

“To give when we can. And not to hate, if we can.”

This answer, one of his last public messages, might surprise. While being interviewed with a dramatic question, at a time shaken by the Algerian war, he answers with such simple words. Simple words indeed, but so human. The only way, according to him, to realize a real revolution; is to do these basic things.

“To give when we can.” Not to try to be a hero. Not to offer more than what we have. Rather to give depending of our forces. “And not to hate, if we can.” At the end of the day, we are all human beings, and many things bother us. It is up to us to try, with the courage we have, not to hate. A revolution to free the world, according to Camus, bursts because of small things, trivial acts. But always when these actions are directed toward our fellow, the other.

These words resonate in me for two reasons. First of all, because they are of a tremendous intensity. And secondly because they represent so well what happened in Israel and throughout the Jewish world after Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali’s kidnapping. We all took upon ourselves a certain gesture, an action while thinking about these three young men. Consciously or unconsciously, we all tried to bring some light in such dark moments.

It is hard sometimes to name our feelings and our experiences. This summer has left in each and every of us an indelible mark that will stay with us for a long time. It was a revolution made of small actions put together. It was every one of us, with our small things, that made these weeks incomparable. It was a feeling of unity that we needed so much. It was a mix of a dream and a nightmare.

In a few days, the year 5774 is coming to its end and 5775 will start. A particular year here in Israel, a Shmitah year, time to return to the land and to return to our entourage. A year where all fruits have a special Kdushah, holiness. A particular holiness appearing only once every seven years.

May this year bring to life all of our hopes. May it bring many other Camusian revolutions. May Hashem allow us this year again to give and not to hate. May 5775 take us further that we can even hope.

About the Author
Eliana Gurfinkiel was born in Paris and immigrated to Israel at 18; Since then, she has studied history, Hebrew and other interesting things; She writes short stories in French and likes to take pictures; She often describes herself as having sparks in her head due to "too many ideas colluding in her brain".
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