A long time ago, during the period of the Second Temple, it was common practice to ascend to a central point in Jerusalem that housed the “Reclaiming Stone.” Anyone who had lost something would stand by the stone and declare their loss. Anyone who had found something would ask if anyone had lost what they had found. In some cases, when there was a happy ending, the person who had found the object and the person who had lost it, would meet at the base of the stone where it would be returned to its owner.

 

We invite you to carry out a public inventory of everything we have lost and found. A contemporary communal reenactment of the lost and found mitzvah. One after the other, various speakers will share with all of us what they have lost and found. An expensive object, a past love, a sudden realization, faith that has passed its sale date or revitalized hope. They will talk about things that they will never stop searching for, and look for treasures that were discovered entirely by chance.

 

Come gather round the stone. Listen. Lose and find yourselves. Ask and respond. And if you feel like it, you can also state publically (or whisper, whatever you prefer) what you have lost or found.

 

This work is based on this ancient tradition and will try to bring back a stone, or the Western Wall, if you like, to Jerusalem, with which we can search for and retrieve everything that we have lost.  One person in front of another, with no heavenly intervention and with no reliance on state institutions. A stone that draws its power from the belief that it is everyone’s duty to return something that has been lost to its owner, with no expectation of a reward.

Created by: Ehud Vardi and Michal Vaknin
Design: Daniel Nahmias
Costume design: Shanit Adam
Sound and closing ritual: Hanan Ben Simon
Findings editor: Marco Milevski
Claimers: Anat Dreamer, Tchelet Zohar, Amit Hershkovits, Yehonatan Shayovitz, Amal Ayoub, Neta Meisels, Riman Barakat, Barak Cohen, Yoav Tubul and more
A big thank you to Tamar Elad-Applebaum of Kehilat Zion for the inspiration and for laying the foundation stone for the ritual
Production: Yael Cohen
Pre-production: Omer Alsheich
Artistic Director Rites of Here and Now: Michal Vaknin