Eliat Israel Nonviolent Communication Workshop

February 8, 2010


In this sea side town- giant date palms line the shore of the Red Sea, across from the mountains of the bible- Moab, Adom, past the wells of Abraham and the deserts of the wandering of The People, I arrived at Ben Gurion University for an NVC workshop. About 30 people, much participation- I want to write now about something that happened after the class ( I loved the class and feel satisfied and energized from the connection and meaning).

A woman came up to me after class. She hadn’t spoken in the class. She asked to talk. Yesterday was the yahrtzeit- anniversary of the death – of her brother in law, her husband’s only brother. He was an Israeli mental health counselor, who had invited two Palestinians into his home in Jerusalem and they killed him. How can she talk to her children about this in a way that doesn’t add to the violence? In a way that doesn’t judge or choke the still painful feelings of their father and grandmother.

She herself already has been trying to understand the needs the men who killed were meeting when they did this.   How can she give everyone the space to mourn and not continue the cycle of violence. We spoke and will continue our dialogue.

I am blown away by the yearning here among Israelis to find ways to meet their needs for respect, freedom, safety and security in a way that is not at the expense of the needs of the Palestinians for respect, freedom, safety and security.

So tonight, a glimmer of hope.

With love, Roberta


Author: robertaindia

In the world with a peaceful heart

7 thoughts on “Eliat Israel Nonviolent Communication Workshop”

  1. It’s beautiful to learn of such a yearning for peace in the face of such pain. And I salute your work to brighten the possibility.


  2. Roberta,
    I just got to reading this post. It is so powerful and painful. Just the opportunity to explore these feelings and not have to be judged or self censor is a gift you offer. I never cease to be amazed at how much healing and creativity and strength comes from real listening and the opening that follows. For everyone.
    again, thank you for sharing this


  3. This is so deeply moving to me. Even that she has that aspiration and is trying to find and practice ways to understand the whole of such an incredibly sad and painful experience means that Israel and the world is already a more compassionate place.

    Deep gratitude to Roberta for offering this and for sharing this.

    shalom, salaam,


    1. Hi- I am bursting with more to write and am moving so fast now that there isnt time yet. Today we soaked in the Dead Sea after mud. Green sea, glorious landscape. The Sea’s reflection of the mountains of Jordan and the coastline of Israel takes your breath away. Weekend in Tsfat, meditating in the cave with the Ari, the great kabbalist. The energy of Ramana and the Ari, overpowering everything, bringing a peace and calm and clarity. Again, so deeply moved by the community of Jews who build a life of prayer and love, creativity and self discovery. And Grateful to my brother Steve, now here with me, who supported me in Tsvat when I went to the Ari’s tomb, now blocked off to women- oy= and I went to the “men’s side”. Really wanting my Jewish sisters to wake up and say this isn’t ok, to be walled off from our sacred power spots, to be told where and how to pray. Yesterday, visited David’s City- shock and despair over the newly built houses, three, four times larger than the surrounding Arab houses, built by and for and with the money of, , I am told, American Jews. How to hold it all? How to find a way to live together where everyone’s needs are met. I plan to return to Israel and Palestine and continue offering NVC trainings to support this dream. With blessings and gratitude,Roberta


  4. Hi Roberta,
    I am astounded by the compassion of this grieving woman and the opportunity you gave her to express her grief, connect with her family and not promote further violence.
    Bravo my dear sister.
    with love & gratitude,


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