Yesterday I took a walk, not just any walk but as part of a gathering of women from all sectors of life, and many religious convictions, in order to testify to their desire for peaceful solutions to intractable problems in our societies. I was one of a small minority of Christians and felt awed by the presence of so many differences in appearance, in language and age. Our walk took place on the Goldman Promenade, or Tayelet, a famous walkway, not so far from my neighborhood, a path with stunning views of the city of Jerusalem, where last week two women were stabbed. The women on the peace walk of this day take part in the TRUST WIN women’s inter-faith network, with regular gatherings in order to of build trust and understanding among Israeli and Palestinian women in the region. We start with assembling at the end of the Haas Promenade in a circle, with introductions by each participant and encouraging words from the women who will head the procession, including host Elana Rozenman, and blowing of the Shofar by the two young women in the center of the circle.
The views from the path on the Goldman Promenade are to the north and west and take in a good part of the city, with the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount standing out surrounded by the walls of the Old City. We walk silently at a deliberate slow pace, Jew, Muslim, Druze, Christian, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, strangers and friends, aware of our bodies, our surroundings, the sighing of the wind in the pine trees, some of us are linked arm in arm or hand in hand. My companion for a while is called Simcha, Joy. One little girl is pushing a stroller that carries both baby and shofar.
It is too soon for me to have absorbed the event totally. I, used to noisy street demonstrations with signs and songs and music, am struck by the power of this quiet testimony to trust in different elements walking together to a different future.