By: Iara Litvak, Participant of Shnat Hachshara Tzafon 2023-2024
On December 27th, with the Kvutza of Shnat Tzafon we had a Tiul to Tel Aviv where we talked about the history and importance of the place, we had an incredible time, we walked around the city, we went to the Shuk, we saw the sea and the day could not have been nicer. To end the day we went to “Kikar HaChatufim” (“The Square of the Kidnapped”) which is next to the Tel Aviv art museum. In this place there is a constant demonstration for the return of the hostages kidnapped on October 7 in the terrorist attack carried out by Hamas. In the Kikar there is a tent with photos of the hostages, paintings, walls with written phrases, a semicircle with mirrors, a Shabbat table with seats for each of the people who are not there and there are families of the hostages: friends, brothers, mothers, fathers, grandchildren, nephews or even people who want to go as an act of solidarity and resistance to the situation.
This day we met Ruthy, mother of Yair and Eitan Horn, two hostages still held captive in Gaza after 81 days since the beginning of the war. Eitan was Sheliach of Hanoar Hatzioni in Peru, so we went to talk specifically with Ruthy. She told us what happened that day, when she lost contact with her children and how is their relationship with Amos, the third brother, who is a teacher at the Machan of Madrichim. The Machon is a central part of the training during Shnat Hachshara.
Sometimes with the plan and the places we go, being so far away from the conflict zone, we forget the initial feeling we had on October 7. Sometimes we forget that there are people who live October 7 every day.
The desire to cry, anguish and anger consumed me from the moment I set foot in Kikar Hajatufim. With the Tnua we stuck labels with Editan and Yair’s faces on them asking for their return and when we finished we were given some time to walk around the place and see the works of art they had made. In the center I saw two pianos. I sat down at one of them and started playing “Suma Israel Elokai”. For a second, I forgot where I was, I forgot if there were people watching and I only thought about the chatufim, I thought that I was singing to them and when I finished, I turned around and Ruthy was there watching, I stood up, she came over to hug me and kept repeating thank you, thank you, thank you….
In Tnua we teach towards Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), about good deeds and how one person can make an impact on society. As a madricha and Hanoar’s daughter, seeing that what happens in Tnua can be brought to real life even in the darkest moments gives me confidence that we are doing the right thing and that a movement like Hanoar Hatzioni is part of personal and collective change.
It is not about doing the impossible to help, but the possible. With actions that come from the Neshama (soul) we can make a change in whoever needs it at that moment. With a hug, a smile or a song we can improve little by little how to live in such a terrible situation.