20 May 2017

Ben Gurion ~ בן גוריון

A curious, humorous statue of Ben Gurion (the first Prime Minister of Israel) doing a head stand can be found on Frishman Beach.  For people who do not know the history behind this symbolic image it may seem like rather an odd way to remember a former PM of Israel.  Remarkably, I am currently reading a book by Dr Norman Doidge entitled "The Brain's Way of Healing" and there was a direct reference to this on page 179.  Here is an extract from this book which explains Ben Gurion's actions.  "Feldenkrais's reputation grew.  A friend of Avraham Baniel's, Aharon Katzir, a scientist who made major contributions to neuroplasticity, took a great interest in Feldenkrais's work.  He passed the information on to the Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion, and in 1957 Feldenkrais took Ben-Gurion on as his pupil.  The seventy-one-year-old Ben Gurion suffered from sciatica and low back pain so severe he could barely rise to speak in Parliament.  After some lessons, Ben-Gurion was able to leap up onto tanks to give speeches to the troops.  Since Feldenkrais's house was near the sea, Ben-Gurion, before turning to matters of state, would go for a morning swim, then see Feldenkrais for his lessons.  Once, Feldenkrais had him stand on his head.  A photo of the elderly prime minister on his head on a Tel Aviv beach was used in an election and seen all over the world."

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