I arranged each week for a scholar


I arranged each week for a scholar to come to a dinner cooked by the students, to talk to them about his or her particular field.On one occasion I invited my father, Walter Zander, who had devoted a lifetime to thinking and writing about conflict, especially the conflict between Jews and A


I arranged each week for a scholar to come to a dinner cooked by the students, to talk to them about his or her particular field.On one occasion I invited my father, Walter Zander, who had devoted a lifetime to thinking and writing about conflict, especially the conflict between Jews and Arabs.By candlelight over a dinner into which the students had put extra care, he began by describing the whole sweep of Jewish history reaching back to the days of Abraham.He poured his passion into the tale—the great biblical stories, the medieval ages, the accomplishments in the arts and sciences, the story of the Diaspora and the tragedy of the Holocaust.He brought the whole saga down to rest on the tiny sliver of land called Palestine in 1947, the year before the land was partitioned between Arabs and Jews so that the Jews could have a homeland.Then he went back and narrated the whole sweep of the history of the Arab people.He again started with Abraham, the acknowledged ancestor of the Arabs as well as of the Jews.He spoke of Arabic sciences and learning, the magnificent library at Alexandria, the great artistic achievements—the tapestries and the architecture, the music and the literature, the folkloric Tales of the Arabian Nights.Above all he spoke of the legendary courtesy of the Arab people.What was most striking was that he seemed to speak with equal enthusiasm whether he was speaking about the Jews or the Arabs.What can we invent that will take us from an entrenched posture of hostility to one of enthusiasm and deep regard?To begin the inquiry, we have distinguished a new entity that personifies the togetherness of you and me and others.It emerges in the way music emerges from individual notes when a phrase is played as one long line, in the way a landscape coalesces out of the multicolored strokes of an Impressionist painting when you get some distance, and in the way a family comes into being when a first child is born.It says we are our central selves seeking to contribute, naturally engaged, forever in a dance with each other.It points to relationship rather than to individuals, to communication patterns, gestures, and movement rather than to discrete objects and identities.This practice points the way to a kind of leadership based not on qualifications earned in the field of battle, but on the courage to speak on behalf of all people and for the long line of human possibility.Listen and look for the emerging entity.Go to the store! she said, addressing me imperiously while gazing off into the distance.Go to the store and get me what I want. I stifled a smile, and did proper homage to the solemn nature of the request.Yes, your majesty, I replied, bowing.I left her in the room to wait for me and crossed the street to the little corner store.I was enjoying the game, particularly because I prided myself on my sensitivity in finding the right things for people.This would solidify our relationship, I thought, wearing my therapist hat and taking myself quite seriously.I perused the shelves.What would she want?She wasn’t a junk food sort of girl.A fat can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew arrested my eye, momentarily.Then my gaze roamed over the sodas and juices in the refrigerated section and returned to the canned foods.I selected the Dinty Moore.In the room with the blue shag rug and the simple white curtains, Victoria stood poised, her head cocked, staring at the paper bag in my hand.Then all at once I realized, I am at her mercy.I realized we were at a critical point in the narrative.She was going to declare who we were, whether we were together or miles apart.Courageously I faced her.Bravely she faced me 220 Views

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