Easter in the folkloric traditions of Palestine is a season for celebration. The community celebrates itself as it goes through the rites and rituals of Holy Week.
Easter in the folkloric traditions of Palestine is a season for celebration. The community celebrates itself as it goes through the rites and rituals of Holy Week. The blessed land of Palestine celebrates itself as the hills change colors to announce the coming of spring. But springtime in the Holy Land is also a season when occasional sandy storms from the desert remind all of us of the vicissitudes of geography and the problematic cohabitation of the sown and the desert.
Mother Nature’s celebration at this time of year remains always associated with the message of resurrection. The heart beats happily at the sights of the greenery of the land and its kaleidoscopic scenery. Yet the heart is pained by the continuing unabated conflict and its many victims. As the desert sandy storms hurt the body and weigh down on the soul, the political situation with its many victims, one victim is too many, equally weighs down on body and soul.
Resurrection is a cyclical process from winter to spring; from death to life; from war to peace. In its simplest message, the process is reassuring that death, entombment and conflict are not the end of all things and that life has meaning over and above individual lives and particular attachments. That resurrection is both a divine and natural scheme cannot be disputed. One thing, though, remains disputed is whether we mortals can contribute to the process of resurrection, particularly in our case in the long protracted conflict that has sown suffering throughout the land we all refer to as holy.
The celebration of resurrection and its fulfillment necessitates action on our part. In Palestine and Israel, the conflict needs to stop. Those who believe that their interests require a continuation of the present situation of conflict are inviting future disasters and denying all of us the chance to experience the exhilarating challenge of peace. Those who insist that the other side understands only the language of military might are inviting vengeance and revenge that will further plunge all of us in desperation. With the Jewish, Muslim and Christian celebrations that coincide with the welcoming signs of spring in the Holy Land, all of us are called upon to turn our ways from war to peace and from death and destruction to life and hope. We cannot achieve this alone and the whole world, especially those deemed influential and powerful, is called upon to ensure that all of us here will go forward in the ways of Peace and Resurrection.