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מה עניין? שמיטה

More articles in the Issue

Issue #1 – October 2021

Digital KavOFEK #1


We are delighted to launch the first digital issue of KAV OFEK.

In September 2000, the first issue of KAV OFEK was published.Avi Nutkevitch, who was the chairman of OFEK at the time, wrote, among other things, in his words of blessing:

“OFEK Writes” is of course another way to promote ideas, but it is primarily the creation of a space for the production of new ideas, for new conceptualizations, for further processing of experiences; It is another way to channel creativity; It is also another channel of communication between us and ourselves, between us and the world.”

Silvia Silberman and Ilana Litvin wrote in the editorial: After debates that ranged from excessive modesty to grandiose ambition, between the intention to publish a “dry” informative page and the desire to create a polished professional journal, the members of the committee decided to launch a journal that would encourage experiential and spontaneous writing even by those of us who shy away from writing for the established professional press.

The journal was published every year; grew, developed and expanded, and the members of its board also changed over the years. In December 2011, issue No. 12 was released, which was also the last. Since then, it fell asleep for ten years. The image of “Sleeping Beauty” waiting for the prince to come, give her a kiss, and wake her up from her slumber came up in the system.

The first thoughts about renewing KAV OFEK in a digital format, with the encouragement of OFEK’s board, came up over two years ago, even before the outbreak of COVID, and began with meetings between Sivanie Shiran and Yermi Harel. Sivanie was obliged to retire and a new editorial board was established which includes Eliat Aram, Yermi Harel and Shelly Sussman: on the editorial team of the first issues, on the editorial team of the middle issues and a newcomer to the board, respectively, hoping for a combination of old and new, tradition and innovation, an important issue in itself, in the field of group relations.

The theme of the issue, which turns the gaze to organization and organizing during the days of an epidemic, invites consideration of the effects of the epidemic on the new system that formed during this period. The digital acceleration in the days of Corona and the transformative change in the perception of location and space, removed limitations on a global society, which became “natural”. The technological tools also became “natural”, and the editors were helped by the available technology of Zoom, WhatsApp, email and shared files for the day-to-day work and communication with the article writers and other people who took part and helped in the production of the issue. Plans for an editorial meeting in Israel were canceled with the imposition of the lockdowns and movement restrictions, so that in fact, like many teams during this period, the editorial board operated in the online space and did not meet physically from its establishment and throughout the period of work on the magazine.

The Corona epidemic gave renewed validity to renewing the journal in an online format, one that is accessible and available beyond the boundaries of time, space and language, and invites expression in a variety of media and styles, such as video and visual images. As in the previous links in the KAV OFEK chain, in the renewed digital edition the wish is to provide a creative and playful space for engaging in the areas of OFEK’s knowledge, a space for conceptual and experiential expression, for collecting and processing experiences and for communication within the community of members and between it and the world.

This task is part of the contemporary challenge of searching for alternative ways and additional channels for meeting and dialogue. For example, KAV OFEK’s digital platform allows comments on the article page, as a channel of this type. Is it possible to think of a “hybrid model” in OFEK, which has some physical meetings, some online meetings and some on the online KAV OFEK? Time will tell.

The first part of the issue contains three articles dealing, from different angles, with the learning experience from online conferences or meetings about conferences. They all took place during the months of the epidemic. We opened with an piece by Ronit Kark and Miriam Shapira examining their experience as participants in the pioneer eGRC conference in 2020. The central theme, around the question or the feeling of omitting intimacy in a conference with digital authority, immediately stimulated thoughts in the editorial board and indeed we included a comment on the subject of omission by Yermi Harel.

The second piece is actually a collection of contributions from the director, staff members and participants of the online conference that took place in February 2021 and to which an OFEK evening was dedicated in June of this year, led by Smadar Ashuach and Amir Scharf, the content of which can be found here.

This part of the issue is concluded with a meta-learning article about learning from conferences through a series of Zoom meetings. The article was edited by Mira Erlich-Ginor who conducted three OFEK evenings on Zoom in the fall of 2020, between the waves of the Corona virus, with the primary task – learning from conferences. The second part of the issue also contains three articles, which deal with the question we presented in the call for proposals about OFEK as a host organization and the experience of leadership in its various shades and colors during the epidemic years.

We start with chairperson Yael Shenhav Sharoni’s view on the management of OFEK – the organization as an organization – in times of epidemic, physical distance and uncertainty.

We continue with a thoughtful article from an OFEK member, Gabi Bonwitt, about the group of OFEK members that examined group relations and Corona, in which he touches on issues we will return to later – memory, otherness and foreignness.

We conclude with the contribution of Leslie Brissett, director of the program for group relations at the Tavistock Institute London, who also sent an article thinking about identity, belonging and the digital experience in the days of an epidemic from his point of view as a director. This article also provoked deep reactions among the members of the editorial board and here you will find Shelly Sussman’s response to the idea of “a person in a body”.

The third and last part of the issue is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend Judy Levy who passed away prematurely before the epidemic. The memorial evening for her death in August 2019 at Yigal Ginat’s house in Jerusalem is perhaps one of the last memories before the epidemic of OFEK members getting together, talking, crying, remembering and singing Judy.

Here you will find a collection of interviews, some recorded, some written, of friends who remember Judy; Judy’s original article from 2011, “Memory Lost and Memory Found”, with her original response and with a contemporary addition from Gabriella Braun, a memory wrapped in sensitive, responsible and loving editing by Leila Djemal and Miri Tzadok.

It seems to us that maybe Judy is our sleeping beauty, helping us wake up and wake KAV OFEK. Although unlike in fairy tales, we cannot bring her back to breathe within us, we can try and carry on as she breathes from our memories.

We hope you enjoy the issue and that its various “kisses and caresses” will inspire you to contribute in the future.

The Editors,

Shelly, Yermi and Eliat
September 2021

* The editors would like to thank first and foremost, Ilan Kirschenbaum, for his partnership and assistance in the realization of the digital edition.

* To OFEK’s board, which approved funds that helped in the realization of the issue, especially in the editing of the recorded segments.

* And of course. to all the writers and contributors – there is no journal without content.

Issue #2 – November 2022

Digital Kav OFEK#2


We are delighted to put forward Kav OFEK’s 2022 – the second digital edition. In preparing this edition, we could identify characteristics of doing something for the ‘second time’. In the second edition of Kav Ofek in-print, in 2001, Ilana Litvin, Silvia Silberman and Eliat Aram, the then editors, wrote:
“we are all familiar with the burst of energy that comes with beginnings, with a genesis. It is much harder to generate energy in order to persevere in creating and invest in maintenance”.

These similar feelings, that accompanied the preparation of the second edition echoed the title: “on longing, movement and nevertheless”. Inspired by the famous lyrics* pointing to the “ongoing journey” and the necessity to relentlessly “keep on moving”, we have wondered – what is the meaning of ‘movement’ these days, when the journey seems to go on and on, regresses, comes to a stand-still – how do individuals, groups, organisations, societies, communities move? Where do longing for human touch and closeness meet movement and moving? Where do we find the resources to keep on moving nevertheless and despite it all?**

We have recognised the circularity of movement in OFEK in the very recent GRC which took place with TAU entitled “Being a Therapist at this time” under the leadership of Yosi Triest and Moshe Bergstein. The GRC was cancelled twice during the pandemic, the journey extended, and eventually it happened this last September with a significant number of participants. What has been the place of longing, perseverance, determination, in the success of this GRC, despite it all and nevertheless?

The articles in this edition are also characterised by the circular movement of back and forth. The first cluster includes two articles dealing with insights from the Corona years, and relate to loneliness, movement and stuckness. First, a thought piece from Shmuel Bernstein dealing with loneliness and lack of movement, and – through re-examining Baudelaire’s La Solitude- offers a new perspective to think of the “empty space”. In the second thought piece, Simon Western touches on questions of loneliness, isolation and melancholy in the digital age, and discusses them through a case study of drone pilots in the USA air force.

The second cluster includes three articles emerging directly from OFEK-related activities and Group Relations thinking. The first, by Hagit Shachar-Paraira and Eyal Etzioni, examines sensitively and from the perspective of the participant, the processes in a reading group of systemic-psychoanalytic papers, which took place over a period of four years (including during covid and lockdown and a return to in-person), suggesting a relationship between learning/study and food/feeding. In the paper “tears of an administrator” which also deals with the experience of participating, Ori Weyl shares his experience of being a GRC administrator this past July with a touching humorous style. This section concludes with a thought piece from Gilad Ovadia which examines the addition of a fourth T boundary, in addition to the original three of Task, Territory and Time. He suggests that of reality Testing, which contributes the strengthening of movement between the ideal and the real in organisational work.

This edition is sealed with the contributions of two guest writers, asking us – “moving – where to?”
Gili Yuval, poet and writer dealing with the world of work, points to the tension between loneliness and a road-trip type movement, to the longing for solitude and suggests a ‘solution’ of a journey-to-nowhere.
Coreene Archer’s thought piece responds to the ancient song “keep moving on the ongoing journey” with contemporary voices and songs and challenges us to examine for ourselves questions of choice and internal listening.

Happy reading and please do use the comment boxes to share your reflections, questions and thoughts.

The Editors,

Yermi, Eliat and Shely
November 2022
* “Ze Kore” (It Happens) / Lyrics Shmulik Kraus
** Call for Papers Kav OFEK #2


מה עניין? שמיטה

ירמי הראל

הכותבות רונית קרק ומרים שפירא השתתפו בסדנת יחסי קבוצות אונליין והן מזהות תופעה/סיפור. הן מכנות את התופעה הזו שמיטה. ולמאמרן הן קוראות ‘שמיטת האינטימיות’.
אני רוצה להתייחס קצת לבחירת שם זו.

לפי ההגדרה המילונית שמיטה היא עזיבת של משהו שהיה מוחזק.
שמיטה הוא מושג מאוד חשוב ביהדות ומתייחס למספר אספקטים. השנה הקרובה שתחל בראש השנה (תשפ”ב) עומדת להיות שנת שמיטה.

על פי הויקיפדיה שמיטה היא אוסף מצוות המתקיימות ביהדות מדי שנה שביעית, הנקראת שנת שמיטה. מצוות אלו עוסקות בעזיבת אחיזתו של האדם בנכסיו הגשמיים, ומתחלקות לשתי קבוצות: שמיטת קרקעות, המתקיימת באיסור על עבודת האדמה והנאה מתוצרתה, ושמיטת כספים, המתקיימת במחיקת חובות. כמו שביום השביעי אתה נח ועושה שבת כך בשנה השביעית האדמה נחה ועושה שנת שמיטה. ושמיטת חובות הוא חוק סוציאלי שבו העשיר מזדהה עם העני ומקל עליו.
כאשר למדתי על שמיטה לפני שבע שנים, לקראת שנת השמיטה מתוך רצון ליצור שמיטה ישראלית היה לי דיאלוג פנימי בקשר לבחירת השם שמיטה. הדימוי הויזואלי שלי לשמיטה היה עזיבה תוך רפיון כמו זקן שמנסה לשתות מכוס ובגלל חולשתו היא נשמטת לו. או שברפואה יש מושג של drop foot מין רגל שנפגעה ואינה מסוגל להחזיק עצמה והיא צונחת ומפריעה להליכה הנורמלית.
יכולה להיות גם שמיטה מתוך כוונה.

אני חושב שהשמיטה התנ”כית היא מתוך כוונה. אני מפסיק לעבד את האדמה כי אני רוצה לתת לה מנוחה, כי אני מאמין שהאדמה לא שייכת לי אלא היא חלק ממשהו יותר גדול, ואני מרפה לתוך המשהו הגדול הזה עם אמונה שההפסקה הזו תיטיב עם האדמה, ואני מאמין שהכח הגדול הזה (אלוהים) יגמול לי ויביא לי אוכל ופרנסה בהמשך. (trust the process).
בעייני יש קשר בין השמיטה התנ”כית והמושג surrender של עמנואל גאנט. אתה שומט כי אתה מאמין ותוך כדי זה שאתה בתהליך של התמסרות, כך קורה בזוגיות, בטיפול וכך קורה לך עם האדמה. עם האמונה בכח הגדול שהתנהלותו תמשיך את קיומך. חוק הטבע.
אז נשאלת השאלה אם האינטימיות בסדנה הושמטה ע”י מעצביה, או נשכחה, או לא יצרו לה תנאים של קיום.

אם נשמטה האינטימיות הרי הכותבות מייחסות מעיין רצף בין סדנאות פנים אל פנים, ששם האינטימיות קיימת ומוחזקת, ואז פה בסדנת אונליין אותה אינטימיות נעימה ומיוחלת נשמטה. אם לא יצרו לה, לאינטימיות, תנאים של קיום אז לא בתהליך של שמיטה מדובר.

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