Tel Aviv Diary - May 20-24,2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 20, 2011

What did Obama say? Is anyone satisfied that he knows what he is involved?

And yet, is there any operable alternative?

And where is the plan? After you make a declaration like that, aren't you supposed to say - come, let's all meet in June and decide to decide?

But of course is there any operable alternative?

Linda just sent me an interesting article from the National Voice of JEwish Democrats" Makes sense.

May 21, 2011

Despite Rav Ovadia Yoseph's request to delay the lag b'omer celebrations until tomorrow, everyone's doing it tonight. Ezi's fluey again, and it isn't great to breathe outside - and maybe I have caught it too - so I'm missing all the celebrations. This is very sad because I was looking forward to the student poetry reading in the park.

On the other hand, i have a 7 a.m. dentist appointment in Hertzlia so maybe I should be going to sleep.

Still, I was hoping to be able to read the re-translation of the Yiddish "around the fire." I imagine my aunt singing it in the forest:

Arum dem fayer,men vert nit mider,
Di nakht iz tayer,mir zingen lider ,
Un zol der fayer, farloshn vern,
Shaynt oyf der himl, mit zayne shtern.

To kroynt di kep mit blumenkrantsn,
Arum dem fayer mir'n freylekh tantsn,
Vayl tants un lid iz undzer lebn,
Dernokh in shlof khaloymes shvebn.

Around the fire, we never tire
Night is our friend, and we sing without end.
And if the fire ever goes out,
Heaven will keep us bright with their stars.

Let's crown all heads with flower wreathes,
We're going to dance around the fire,
because dancing and singing are our lives,
then go to sleep creating our dreams.

May 22, 2011

Whatever it was that was making ua aick it disappeared in the afternoon. I am beginning to suspect allergies. I am allergic to olive trees, after all. How strange to live in the middle east and be allergic to its most essential vegetation.

May 23, 2011

I don't like going to Tel Hashomer Hospital. It takes forever to get there because there's always a traffic jam, once you get there you have to hunt for parking up and down the narrow laned parking tower, and then you have to walk for almost 10 minutes before you get to the place you need, Last year it was for Orit's birth that I had to spend all those hours. And now it looks like Ezi's going to entrust them with his transplant. Because once we got there it looks like they know what they're doing.

Maybe not, when Orit was giving birth no one was around except Yaniv and me - not a good team for birthin babies.

But Oncology looks okay - kind of like a real hospital.

Clear my head tonight with Maricruz and Mark on the boardwalk. there was a wine festival and a cheese festival and all kinds water shows. I was disappointed because the sex store was closed, but otherwise the spa, clothes shop, and restaurant could be have been a great place.

May 24, 2011

I understand that books published in Israel could be dangerous. At least the < a href="">Jerusalem Post suggests that they're very problematic in Scotland. What does this mean? That our books are bombs? That we are so dangerous we must be censored? That people actually read in Scotland?

For years I've been trying to wake up the dormant local chapter of PEN. There have been no elections in at least a dozen years, no meetings, no attempts to promote literary freedom. Not that I think there is censorship or arrests of writers as writers, but I'd like to be able to answer the constant questions and charges that come from abroad. But the last elected officers and the secretary (who was salaried and not elected) haven't moved. Last year I made a determined push to have them call a meeting, but met with total indifference, and then a bit of hostility. Maybe when I take a sabbatical, and Ezi recovers, I'll have the energy to try again, because I don't believe that the writers are that passive.

May 28, 2011

That's it. In these pages I make the committment to try again to organize the writers to reorganize PEN. I will spend the next two months - as soon as the visiting grandchildren go back to Boston to start their summer camp. It's something I can do no matter what the warring doctors decide on what to do with Ezi.


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