Shoshana Lavan

Time to wake up!

The opening evening of WWP Peace Journey 2022: Photos Courtesy of WWP

I’m loving teaching, but also learning in my anthroposophic high school, in Northern Israel. Both teachers and students have so much to give – such rich creativity and kindness. In our weekly teachers’ meeting, we were reading Steiner’s philosophy about ‘worldview’. We were trying to reach beneath the words to relate to what he was saying. He explores the idea that we need to be ready and willing to interpret our worldview all over again. I love this idea, which prevents human beings stagnating and becoming close minded. I gave my group an example of how I form my worldview, every morning, when I reach the top of the highest hill around our kibbutz, or when I see the sunrise from the water where I’m swimming, and I thank God for the beauty in the world and tell him/her I will try to look after everything and everyone in it, as best I can. My colleagues liked my idea, but our group leader pointed out how Steiner believes we must look to man to develop our worldview. That each time we meet another person, we try to receive their ideas of the world without prejudice, and allow their ideas to recreate our own.

This, I realize, is something I fundamentally disagree with. Looking for answers in other people is not where I can always find inspiration or goodness, although of course this sometimes can and does happen.

For example, this week I was at a Women Wage Peace event outside the old walls of Akko. Because I am closely involved with this fantastic movement, I was privy to all the organization, energy and effort that went into making it possible. It was also the first of many – the month of September is our ‘peace journey’ and there are events scheduled for all over Israel. The speeches were moving and powerful, the stage impressive, the music, singing, dancing wonderful, and the food delicious. There was only one thing wrong. The number of women attending. Perhaps just over two hundred? That could seem impressive, but if we think back to the marches just less than ten years ago, and the protests, we are reminded there were many thousands of women, with energy and vitality, calling for peace.

What has happened?

I’ve asked this week why people are not going to peace events. They tell me Israelis are tired. They tell me they have too many other things to do. They tell me it’s not their priority, because nothing ever changes anyway,

I have just become a mechanechet (homeroom/form teacher) at my school. It means I have a family of twenty-six students to look after. An incredibly challenging job, but also unbelievably rewarding. We’ve already had a few meltdowns and crises, where we’ve needed to be there and do the best we can for our students. I didn’t turn around and tell them, ‘Sorry, I’m tired or ‘Sorry, I have too many things to do.’ Or ‘Sorry, you’ll never change so there’s no point me trying… ‘

It’s my job, and my duty.

What about our country then? We’re too tired? Too tired? The country is just seventy-four! How can we be too tired?

We have the opportunity, in November, to vote for parties who believe in the two state solution and are determined to bring peace to this country, for good, for all of us. An equal and just peace. A much-needed peace.

So the least you can do is get out there and vote!

And in the meantime, I will keep looking to nature for my inspiration– how beautiful the world is, when that orange sun rises over the mountains each morning and tells me everything is possible because it is the gift of a new day for all of us.

Everything good is possible.

About the Author
Shoshana Lavan is a published author, high school teacher of English Literature and Language, teacher of English as a foreign language and most importantly, a very proud mother of her gorgeous little boy. She is a peace activist and a committed vegan. A keen runner, she adores the mountains and glorious sunshine in this wonderful country.
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