Tel Aviv Diary - December 14-18, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 14-18, 2014

December 14,2014

so much happens here I don't know how I will go away. and yet i have to. with our Hamas neighbors flaunting their new weapons and asserting that we did not even manage to kill Mohammed Def in the last war, and the Syrians vowing revenge, and Nasrallah promising attacks, we have a lot to keep us busy. And our sudden and intense elections are incredibly suspenseful. They are going to make a difference in our attitudes if not our politics.

Even the comedy shows have our politicians as standups: Tsipi Livni gives answers on politics that has the comedians interviewing her holding their sides.

My major goal now is to make sure people vote. 1. help organize rides for the elderly to the polls 2. encourage voting at the university by making sure they have time and motivation to vote.

December 15, 2014

It took me a long time to get from the library to my car - i kept stopping to talk with students and friends. Every conversation was different and everyone was lovely. Here a conversation about my poetry, there a flash advice about a thesis. There were even these large ducks, maybe geese, sleeping on the campus

and among the students - all of whom i love - were women in hijab, women in traditional Arab dress. I had just heard the news that a woman from Jenin had been caught who was planning to blow herself up with a band of guys who were counting on her to get past the border - dressed as a pregnant Jewish woman. Here's the link. Talk about disorientation.

December 16, 2014

I hate to leave Tel Aviv. Today:

1. When I walked into the nursery to pick up Omer the kids were sitting on chairs doing exercises in relaxation. "turn your head to the right, slowly, turn to the other side, head up, head down, now turn to your neighbor and draw gentle circles on their back...." "What were you doing?" I ask the four-year old. "Things that are good for your body," he tells me. This is Tel Aviv.

2. Walking with Tamar, I come upon a very scared worm at the same time a bunch of Habad boys find it. It's on the sidewalk, headed for the street, and is sure to be crushed very soon. We all bend over the worm - with our iphones - pick up the worm and return him to ground. "Blessed be the Lord who has created all creatures." They then turn to me and ask me if i know how to light the candles tonight. I answer. We get a free menorah plus candles.

3. Arik Einstein's death last year was memorialized in Rothchild Boulevard by enormous signs with lyrics of his songs all down the avenue.

December 18, 2014

We landed in Newark yesterday evening and already i'm homesick. I keep thinking that the coming elections need to be helped by every citizen in the country. every single person can make a difference.

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