Tel Aviv Diary - June 3-7 2009- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - June 3-7, 2009 Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 3-7, 2009

June 3, 2009

Some pictures of the Leper Hospital

The Leper Hospital in Jerusalem

June 4, 2009

Somehow I imagine Obama like the biblical Joseph in Egypt. He's certainly got the character of one of the biblical heroes. He is doing all the things I dreamt of in the past 20 years and whether it works out or not, it is wise, heroic, and kind. The idea of talking first and then making war only if all alternatives fail makes sense. It begins in the assumption of the fundamental human possibility to learn reason - homo est animal rationis capax. i would also add homo est animal amoris capax Would you agree?

the above was written before his speech. Later I was at work and couldn't hear the talk, even though it was broadcast all over the place, so i asked people how it was. The reactions were completely antithetical. Some were euphoric and others terribly depressed. I thought again of Joseph and what he did to Benjamin.

June 5, 2009

We celebrated the evening of the birthday at Pappa's with their incredible champagne. There's a coupon for a free desert here. We always have good food there. And we celebrated his birthday there last year, when he was all bald and fragile.

Visit Scholars For Peace in the Middle East website

To Sign the petition against the boycott of Israeli Scholars go to

The whole idea of scholars boycotting scholars is so anti-scholarly i can't get over it

June 6, 2009

I wonder if there is a correlation between faith in government leadership and traffic accidents around here. It seems to me that right after some crisis when we feel like there is no one really driving our car, there is a rash of traffic accidents in this country. If people thought that Bibi could negotiate successfully with Obama, maybe they'd calm down on the roads. This weekend was terrible.

Talk about uncertainty, read Sayyed Kashua's "comic" column about living in a Jewish neighborhood. Apparently both his car, and now his house have been "egged" and he's mentioned this to the police. Can you imagine what it must feel like? On the other hand, we have Arab neighbors on our street, and my only regret is that i don't understand everything they say and can't gossip. Oh, yes, I also regret that I've never seen their faces because I only hear them when I'm walking the dog at night.

June 8, 2009

Although i will probably never publish the talk i gave tonight at Mishkenot Shaananim about Assia Gutmann's translations of Yehuda Amichai, I myself was amazed at what was discovered there about how translation can become confession. It was as though she was giving almost subliminal messages through her translations. Amichai's poetry is always an experience to read, to immerse oneself in, to converse with. It is an honor to speak about his work, to share it with others.

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