A meeting capable of overcoming great obstacles; a leap in love bringing two people together and generating unity. Bella Gal, a Jew living near Tel Aviv, talks about her special friendship with E., a Palestinian Christian.

A few years ago I had a really interesting and profound encounter with a Palestinian woman, a Christian, a university lecturer, at a conference in Jerusalem where she was giving a talk.

Her name is E. She brought up her children alone while her husband was in an Israeli prison for 10 years. He was released due to health problems and sadly died shortly afterwards.

Although she was suffering, E. never gave up on life and educated her children who are now professionals, each in their own area of expertise.

Her talk was very interesting but also very sad.

At the end of the speech, I left the room without waiting for the question and answer session. I could not bear to hear her story. It reminded me of my own suffering, my early childhood and my parents who died during the Holocaust.

Maybe it was very selfish of me but E. gave me a very important example and lesson in “making every encounter worthwhile”.

After leaving the hall, I sat down in the cafeteria. Suddenly I felt someone put their hand on my shoulder. It was E. who said to me: “I saw you at my lecture, and I also saw you leave at the end. Did something happen? Did I offend you?”

Although E. had every reason to be hostile towards me, we approached each other with great compassion, realising that we had both suffered but had found our inner strength, picked up the pieces and embraced the situation.

As we finished sharing and crying, E. and I immediately felt connected, and a great love and appreciation for one another. We were able to unite deeply as women and see beyond our country’s differences.

Over the years, E. has also held important political offices which is a major and historic achievement for a Christian woman living in that context.

Today, I can truly say that E. is my soulmate beyond the wall.

Bella Gal

8 Comments

  • Très touchée par cette expérience exceptionnelle qui donne foi en l’être humain. Merci Bella de l’avoir partagée. Vous nous ouvrez le coeur….

  • Io ho trovato per caso le mie anime gemelle …ero rientrata da poco nel mio paese ,mancavo da 18 anni …sono rientrata dopo che la mia giovane figlia ci ha lasciato per nascere il cielo…ero lontana dalla Chiesa e molto arrabbiata con Dio…ma un giorno incontro una sorella e mi invita a partecipare al laboratorio di Laboramor per dare un sostegno ai meno fortunati, ci vado ma molto riluttante e mi presenta altre due mie sorelle e la cosa mi ha ” incantato” è stata il loro sorriso il loro vedere il quotidiano con gioia e senza saperlo mi avevano riaperto il mio cuore inaridito , scopro più tardi che erano Focolarine ….ora faccio parte con orgoglio del movimento dei Focolari è credo fortemente che lo Spirito di Unita sia in mezzo a noi …grazie per l’ascolto

  • Es maravilloso, contemplar qué es posible, ir más allá.
    Encontrándose, él Jesús de una con él Jesús de la otra!!!!
    Hacerse ” UNO” con él dolor del otro !!!
    Y, cómo siempre , de CHIARA aprendí , busca lo qué te ” UNE ” no lo qué nos separa!!!!1️⃣

  • Dear Bella, it was a great surprise and a big joy to read your experience. We met and found each other as friends during the congress for members of various religions, belonging to the Focolare Movement, in Castel Gandolfo in June 2019. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your life and your fidelity, even in difficult moments, in the Focolare Movement that – with your presence and other friends of various religions and convictions – makes it a truly worldwide family.
    We thank God who makes us brothers and friends, and – as I have already written to you earlier – I can’t wait to pay you and Yossi, your husband, a visit in Ra’Anna, God willing and epidemic permitting!

    • Carissima Bella, è stata una grande sorpresa e una grande gioia leggere questa tua esperienza. Ci siamo conosciuti ed trovati amici durante il congresso per membri di varie religioni, appartenenti al Movimento dei Focolari, a Castel Gandolfo in giugno 2019. Ti ringrazio di cuore per la tua vita e la tua fedeltà, anche in momenti difficili, nel Movimento dei Focolari che – con la presenza tua ed altri amici di varie religioni e convinzioni – lo rende una famiglia davvero mondiale.
      Ringraziamo Dio che ci fa trovare fratelli ed amici, e – come ti avevo già scritto per e-mail – non vedo l’ora di potere fare – Dio volente ed epidemia permettente – una visita a te e Yossi, il tuo marito, a Ra’Anna!

    • Grazie! Questa esperienza mi rinnova nella fiducia che il bene a vinto sul male e ce il mondo unito è possibile. Grazie ancora. Roberto G.

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