Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach

By Amia Lieblich | Go to book overview

War as a Symbol

Introduction

The salience of war in the Israeli reality, the daily vision of armed soldiers in the streets, the frequency of being called to reserve duty, the constant awareness of the need to defend and prepare for possible war -- all these, and many other signs of this reality, render war inseparable from our mental life. This opening section will provide three examples of the infiltration of war into the inner space in terms of representing other psychological issues. It will demonstrate the fact that war is not only a reality with which Israelis must cope but also a symbol that conveys their inner struggle with strength, anger, freedom, and other apparently non-war-related concepts. Although the images of the following dreams and fantasies derive from our daily reality of soldiers, refugees, and physical danger, their personal meaning, as revealed through Gestalt work, is of a much broader and universal nature.

In the cases selected to exemplify this phenomenon, three different personal issues are explored: the apparent contradiction between the schlemiel -- physically clumsy and inefficient yet craving for poetry, music, and philosophy -- and the tough, courageous, adaptable command-car driver in the desert; the search for a stable identity challenged by the urge to become a freedom-seeking wanderer; and the conflict between the adult's constant preoccupation with daily chores and future trifles and the child's wish to be spontaneous and enjoy the present. All these are instances of the search for an integrated identity, a combining of one's various parts; indeed, they are clear manife

-27-

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Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part 1 - VVhen Cannons Are Stilled, Let Voices Be Heard 1
  • Six Wars 3
  • On War and Sanity 7
  • Overview of Gestalt Therapy 11
  • The Groups 18
  • Reactions 21
  • Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach 24
  • Part 2 - The Unfinished Business of War in Israel 25
  • War as a Symbol 27
  • On Freedom and Country 46
  • Reminders of the Holocaust 75
  • War and the Family 95
  • Early Effects of the War 116
  • The Wheelchair Group of 1974__ 143
  • New Group, Old War 160
  • The Shadow of War 193
  • Part 3 - Peacetime Conversations About War 205
  • The Women 261
  • About the Book 289
  • Recommended Readings 305
  • About the Author *
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