Shattered Mirror


Yadin Roman

From ERETZ magazine – issue no. 188 – March 2024

Over the past year, civil society in Israel has emerged from the shadows. It has always existed, but social solidarity, mutual aid, and unity have all crumbled in the last three decades, and the essential need for civil organizations has become central to safeguarding our democracy. The attempted judicial revolution and the massacre of October 7 placed a mirror in front of us through which we could see the reflection of our society. It was a broken view, shattering to pieces all that we believed about the resilience of Israel. For many, it was a wake-up call to take action.
Since its founding 40 years ago, “ERETZ Magazine” has focused on the history, heritage, and culture of the Land of Israel. However, it is impossible to ignore the enormous changes that are taking place and still be faithful to our editorial mission: Yediat Ha-Aretz – Knowledge of the Land.
In this issue, we focused on a few lesser-known aspects of Israel’s civic society that illustrate the overall atmosphere. Two weeks after October 7, Talya Yarom, a senior event producer, decided to hold a concert with a thousand musicians and singers at the Roman Theater in Caesarea to express the need for the immediate return of the hostages. All concert participants, singers, stage people, film crews, and editing crews did their work voluntarily. The concert received millions of views online.
Liri Roman, whose sister Yarden and sister-in-law Carmel were held hostage in Gaza, decided to set up a giant sand clock to illustrate that time is running out for the hostages. Today, sand clocks are displayed in Tel Aviv, New York, and Berlin. Five more are about to go up in Israel.
Shomrim, the Center for Media and Democracy, decided to establish an emergency fund to provide emotional assistance for journalists and media personnel exposed to the atrocities of October 7. The fund raised 400 thousand dollars, enough to aid nearly 200 journalists.
The story of Kibbutz Manara, its members evacuated from their Lebanese border home and settled as a kibbutz within a kibbutz at Kibbutz Gadot, illustrates the strength of the Kibbutz Movement, that with a new General Secretary plans to take the lead in Israeli society, and shape the values needed to repair our shattered mirror.
I must disclose that I have personal connections to all these stories. The Caesarea Theater played an important part in our Caesarea issue. Gili Roman is my brother’s son. One of an amazing group of young people who left whatever they were doing to fight for the release of the hostages. I learned about the emergency fund of Shomrim from my wife, who works there, and I have a particularly warm place for Manara, where I grew up.
Special thanks go to my friend and army buddy, Zvika Tzur, from Kibbutz Gvat. Without his amazing efficiency and sage advice, many of these articles would not have made their way to print.