They turned their heads around simultaneously looking to their left towards Afula seeing few lights in the distance. The small city laid idle in the darkness of the night. Days before a bomb alarm got off bringing busy life at the bus terminal to a n immediate standstill. While passengers were using the terminal as a vital hub to change routes and directions from all places of the country, a lost suitcase was found standing in the middle of the tarmack between the buses unattended. A guard off duty had stopped the dark blue hardcover Samsonite with no owner insight and raised the alarm. Minutes later police cars were surrounding the terminal and sealing it off. Specialist team was sent to the scene to investigate the suitcase for possible dangerous devices that could cause serious harm to people. Few minutes passed, the alarm was put to rest, passengers were able to board their buses again.
Looking at the bus stop outside the gate to Kibbutz Ginegar they thought of their hitchhiking trip the weekend past. They had walked up their way to the top of Mount Carmel and visited Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa. Bus fares were not too expensive for them but the encounter with local people sharing personal stories and insights about the country and inside into their own lives were too fascinating for both not to be missed. Hitchhiking was common in a country with the spirit of depending on each other’s support; was rooted in people´s genes for which reason to be safe always. Israel in its current borders was only a tiny little country reaching from the north at Lebanon and Syrian border to the Red Sea in the south, a distance by public transport to make it in just under eight hours moderate speed, Tel Aviv west of the country at the Mediterranean Sea and Kibbutz En Gedi on the east side of Sea of Galilee with its impressive city Tiberias marked the size the country stretched in width, home to Millions of people wanting to find rest from oppression confronted with in other countries thy were born into, their home countries by birth, not by heart and spirit, was surrounded by hostile forces that had never accepted the state of Israel, and they knew it. Their spirit being at home in he promised land mingled with the spirit of determined defense of a lifestyle they had wanted to practice daily after generations in the diaspora. Foreign workers of Muslim belief mainly from Palestine, the West Bank, crossed over the border to work on farms and in factories of Israel each day. Closely monitored they were needed to run a High-tech economy yet deep in the Jewish hearts rejected for their fight of liberation proclaiming Jerusalem to be their rightful capital and the Dome of the Rock in the heart of the old ancient city an important prayer point to worship Allah. Endless peace negotiations and treaties signed by various Representatives of both sides lasted for years but were broken again and again. Travelling the tiny country with its strongly opposing people based on different belief was always an earmark for new violent outbreaks, a story that cannot be written in the book of world peace for good. The heat of the day, the dry soil of the rocky country with its undeniable magnificent desert Negev was a labor of heart love and strong hands. Planting vegetables and fruits in this harsh environment, beautiful in its core, and yet a constant dialogue between beauty and calloused hands of turning dust to bear fruits; opening up the ground to get water pipes covered by soil and bring forth food to eat onto the table, was a visible manifestation of God’s word to make the world subject to mankind and eat its daily bread with the sweat of labor.
The lights of the moadon got turned off, its doors closed; minutes later not even birds or the wind in the trees were singing or whispering. Silence all around. No cars moving before their eyes. Peace at heart, that is what they needed and got. This is how it must feel like the moment before closing their eyes forever to transcendent into a world with no bodies and pain, no cheers and hope, a place to rest for everlasting. They looked at each other at the same time and spoke no words. Their eyes told them stories.
George Fähnrich had knocked at the gates of Kibbutz Ginegar a short while ago, unexpected as volunteers book weeks if not years before arrival their places in the Kibbutz. He had turned up in Tel Aviv to show his face. In minutes, the confirmation from Kibbutz Ginegar reached the Association of Kibbutz he should come and stay with them. Few hours later, the bus from Tel Aviv via Haifa took him to his next step in life. His bike by his side was he welcomed late afternoon and had been taken to his room that he had to share with a volunteer from Switzerland. He was born in Lübeck, a Hanseatic city at the Baltic Sea, North-East of Germany. The city of his childhood and youth stood tall in his heart. He truly loved the little beautiful sister to its much bigger sister Hamburg in which Heinz Wohlfarth was born years before him. Even these two Hanseatic cities in its details were different, at the end of the day the spirit of the old Hanse, a common bond between strategically located cities across Germany and beyond to trade goods safely, could never been denied in their words and actions. Other places and regions of Germany most certainly had their influence on a country once rightly labeled as the country of Poets and Thinkers, time long passed and mostly forgotten, but it was due to these cities of the Hanse that had created a spirit of cross-border trade and cooperation leading finally to the European Union.
The family background of both were very different. George Fähnrich born into a family of lawyer and doctor with three siblings, Heinz Wohlfarth was a son of a single mother with his father mostly away from his children and two sisters, all born one year apart from each other. Living in Hamburg, Heinz Wohlfarth had experienced life in a family not blessed with high education rather a family living at the lower end of their intellectual capacity. The father of George Fähnrich, Friedrich Fähnrich the lawyer, son of another lawyer of blessed memories, defending civil cases in the lower court of Lübeck, an old building that once had been witness to the Marianne Bachmeier shooting of the defendant Klaus Grabowski having had killed her young daughter in a self-proclaimed outcry of motherly love. His mother was working in the local University Hospital as Senior Surgeon praised by their colleagues and staff. She, Sabine Fähnrich, was loved by all for her professionalism and empathy shown to patients keeping a healthy balance between going about her duties and showing to patients that doctors are no God in white uniforms but humans that truly care to save lives and better them wherever possible. Their long hours at work had made them employ Nannies from around the world, mostly young ladies from African countries or Asia that had come to Lübeck to start or complete their studies before engaging back home and contribute in their native environment for a better agenda to turn tables. Both, Sabine, and Friedrich Fähnrich, thought to expose their children at early age with people close to them from different backgrounds that would eventually pay of and help them to appreciate this planet better and in its fullness of diversity. Both parents had limited amount of time at their personal disposal to share cultural events with their children. But they had tried their very best to be present in kindergartens and schools they had attended to watch their progress. Bookshelves in the big living room were filled with novels and books about history and philosophy. They had never forced their children to read but encouraged them and had succeeded. Even an impressive TV flatscreen was the center piece of the wall facing the window leading to the veranda it had only been turned on for news programs or English-speaking broadcasts, documentaries, and movies.
George Fähnrich looked very much like his father. He was close to two meters in height, blue eyes, sharp facial features, chin angular, dark brown short hair, no glasses needed, nose curved and pointed, slim, walking slightly awkward as a result of him having grown as teenager too fast causing him always serious back pain. On the other hand, Heinz Wohlfarth was one head smaller than his newly acclaimed friend from Lübeck, slim, light brownish hair, black glasses, oval shaped face, blue green eyes. Books in his mother’s house were not available, it was him that had to go out and look for books of his interest. At the age of twelve he had written his first book, a novel about the I in us humans. Sitting alone in his room, curtains closed, light dimmed, college block on his knees with a pen in his right hand. Day after day had he been sitting on the round brown chair with plastic cover and the white book shelves behind him instead mingling with age mates, enjoying girls and discos, dancing to latest Pop music at parties useless to him wasting time after time after time.