By Rivka Melamed
|We had a concert of harmonicas accompanied by a piano. The sounds of the harmonica are carried from country to country, telling stories, whispering secrets about nations in their country, about happiness; about cheerfulness and security on the one hand, and on the other hand, about repression, poverty and fear of tomorrow.
Here is a Slavic dance: memories of childhood pass in front of your eyes. The dance of young people that are alien to you, of Gentile boys and their girls in a wide meadow. Straw-colored locks are streaming. It is as though I can hear the stamping of their feet, accompanied by their songs: Reik zinot ir moket [You need to know and learn how to love a maiden].
And I am on my way to the Hashomer Hatzair clubhouse. I will immediately enter the atmosphere of the whirling hora, of songs such as Kinneret Sheli [My Sea of Galilee] and Hayarden [The Jordan River].
To get to the movement clubhouse I need to pass them, and I am filled with fear. Will they let me pass without harm, either physical or verbal, because you are Jewish, because you are different?
And here before me sits our youth, our future, our hope.
When the time comes, will you know how to integrate those who live in a framework different to yours into our ranks? Will you know how to blend with those that have never tasted freedom of expression, ideas and education? Will you know not to be conceited and not to demonstrate your superiority to those whom fate did not allocate an orderly life, educate and culture? Will you know how to accept and respect people, and to love them?
Will you know?
Kibbutz Chaim, Ponivezh (Panevezys)
Nava Levi (Shoham): My mother was an excellent mandolin player and many members of Mishmar Haemek probably remember her playing.
Rivka Melamed and Micha Baron (kneeling)
Standing: Chaim Slovo (center) and Yoel Zeif
Micha Baron (2nd from left), Yoel Zeif (kneeling in front)
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