Tel Aviv Diary - July 2-6, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - July 2-6, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

July 2, 2010

Birthing Babies. A beginning look. Now I might know a lot about birthing babies, but my contemporary experience with it has been limited. It is very different today than in my time, and extremely different in Israel than in the U.S. (I've had babies in both places) What makes me think of it now? Not only are we anticipating babies around here, but I've been talking to young fathers - guys with big muscles and tiny infants - and they can recite every detail about the experience and background of having a child. They know which hospitals are more amenable to which methods, what it looks like to see a child born, what needs to be done to connect a child to a nipple, etc. etc. I am amazed. Apparently, we talk a big talk around here about natural childbirth, but prefer epidurals and passive patients.

July 3, 2010

(Sorry for the technical problems yesterday - one letter can make a big difference in html)

I'm reading in Hebrew at a Havurah group today in Gymnasia Herzlia at 5:30. Dialogues with audiences help me to understand what is going on with my new books. In Florence, for example, even though the questions were in Italian, I could understand much more about what I was doing from an interrelationship with an audience, then I could from just reading the poems. Anyway this time its about my new book in Hebrew, The Keepers of My Youth, and I'm looking forward to learning a lot.

And I did. About my poetry but more about a wonderful Havurah in Tel Aviv. My brother was among the original founders of the havurah movement, and in a different constellation there are numerous incentives for my family to join. But we are too intense, too close, and too diverse as a family to join a bigger group. Still, for warmth, intelligence, and learning, there is little that can beat the havurah movement. And this one is blessed with all as well as a wonderful location.

Heading home, tired, greatful that it is shabbat and there are few cars on the roads, we discover our way is blocked by three peacocks who have escaped the zoological gardens for the afternoon.

It took a while but we chased them back home - here's one saying goodbye from the prison walls:

July 4, 2010

Anyone for Pappa's? I'm going there for comedy hour tonight - stand-up in English yet.

I should have told you earlier. It was packed. We have connections so we got a good table, but it looked crowded to me. Where else could Americans in Israel celebrate July the 4? Complaining about Israel is a great hobby, and we all enjoyed it.

July 5, 2010

The concert to inspire Hamas to allow the Red Cross to visit Gilad Shalit is going on now - a mile away from where he was captured. It is so clearly a goal that no one can oppose. For over four years international law has been defied, and despite the obvious justice of this plea, it has been ignored.

And now Zubin Mehta stands on the same stage as Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, and begs that world opinion be focused on this situation.

July 6, 2010

It was one of those days, rushing from one place to another, every one of them fascinating. At some points the rush from place to place was even more interesting than the place itself. For example, as I was driving towards Tel Aviv, at the light by the Azrieli tower, as people were crossing the street, walking back and forth, I saw a little hill. The cars moved forward slowly crowding together at the light, and it became clear that the hill was a praying Moslem. No one bothered to look at him. I tried to capture the whole scene on the cellular, but in the excitement of taking a picture, I dropped the phone - as usual.

All right, all right. Here it is - the video of the Israeli Soldiers dancing...

They've been showing it endlessly on tv here, wondering what will happen to the soldiers

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