Tel Aviv Diary June 2, 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - from June 2 -6 , 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 2, 2005

It's been a long day.

June 3, 2005

Here's English Department article in a nicer format

part 1

part 2

No matter what happens, you've got to do some chores - even if its only the pharmacy - so we raced through Ramat Aviv G center this morning. Now this is one of my most unfavorite of shopping areas, because I find the people a bit coarse and pretentious, but it is still a great place. On Friday morning, most of the dogs are leashed, because it's pretty crowded, and even the people drinking coffee look like they're in a bit of a hurry. The same dignified man with a cello who is playing "Begin the Beguine," would probably be more contented with the Vivaldi he usually plays on weekdays, but I didn't see the old woman who rattles her cup before disdainful people.

We were supposed to go to Jerusalem to see Chekhov's "The Seagull" but have had to postpone it until tomorrow night, so we're watching old movies all day - Tony Curtis is the good guy, Kirk Douglas the bad - I saw these movies as a child and never realized all the men are Jewish and all the women aren't.

I was delighted to rediscover an old friend, a journal called Israel Horizons. Israel Horizons is the periodical of Meretz USA, published about five times a year. It has been printed, more or less continuously, since 1952. Subscription rates for the print edition are $36 per year; $25 for seniors and students. (Annual contributors of $50 or more to Meretz USA also receive a one-year subscription to Israel Horizons). The online version, however, is available here for download in PDF format for free.

June 4, 2005

Can't get into the political shtik lately. But Robert Rosenberg does such a good job at Ariga, there's no reason why I have to.

All I can think about it the Trojan Horse, that electronic invasion of privacy that seems to be the nightmare of the major companies here - everyone spying on everyone else. And who knows what in the world the government has been exposed on - there were talks about postponing the release of the prisoners...

I keep thinking about the significance of this in the context of the Hebrew language. For example, as you probably know from the Bible, "to know" means to have sexual intercourse. Thus true knowledge in Hebrew is obtained by entering, not learning.

Gotta go. Got some studying to do.

June 5, 2005

So now we can finally understand Chekhov. Now that we've seen the Riga theatre perform "the seagull." In Russian. With Subtitles. The situation, however, reminded me of my mother's friend, Lena Rogachevsky, who at the age of ninety behind the wheel of her cadillac could either have her foot on the pedal or see through the windshield. We kept looking up at the subtitles and missing the acting or watching the acting and missing the words.

And the play - in which everyone talks about things that happened off stage but nothing happens in the present - reminded me uncomfortably of this journal.

Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." This reminds me that i can't stay away from politics for ever - just because i feel impotent, incapable of changing such obviously corrupt systems.

Although I'd like to.

The luxury of saying "A plague on both your houses" might work in Shakespeare, may succeed in turn-of-the-century Russia, but not here.

June 6, 2005

Nevertheless,I remain confined in the magic of my little life. For example, today as the printer and I were packing the latest ARCs into the luggage compartment of my car, the woman who does the layout came running out with a page - "Wait, Wait," she called. "This is for you!" And it turned out she was reading the proofs of Shmuel Shatal's latest book of poems, and as I walked by, she came upon a poem dedicated to me.

Now if that isn't magic, i don't know what is.

You will notice the front of today's haaretz has a different kind of serendipity. The announcement that new (Jewish) buildings had been built in the territories, and an illegal (Arab) home had been destroyed in Haifa. But this was probably the irony of the editors.

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