Tel Aviv Diary November 10-14, 2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 10-14, 2007

November 10, 2007

But not yet. Here are just a few. I'll try to fix the sizes tonight, but I thought that the uniqueness of the character of the street cats of Tel Aviv should be noted:

The ginger cat was adopted by the male black and white. Even though people fed him, he was missing the body warmth and was nurtured by this strange male cat who also, as you can see, let him suck.

This is not to say that he wasn't masculine. See him here:

Ghey also caused my poor dog much consternation.

These are from last year, but I'm having trouble figuring out the mechanics of this new computer. And my head isn't quite right yet.

In the mean time you can read about this new nonprofiy organization that SOME schmuck will probably donate to.

November 11, 2007

So much of the atmosphere here could be told through the animals. The 7 pregnant cows killed today by kassams, for example. Think of them in terms of Pharoah's dream and Joseph's interpretation. But whichever way you turn you will find a reflection of the larger picture. Talk to a soldier on a bus, visit an Arab family, get your shoe fixed by a shoemaker who can barely speak Hebrew, a tourist in a train. Each cameo will help put together the incredibly complex collage.

Then you have to add to it the terror daily inflicted and threatened. Kassams, Hamas, Nuclear warfare (I always have a t-shirt in my mind with a target on it) and the small ones we try not to think about - like drought.

I was just reading CNN and realized you have no idea ofwhat I'm talking about unless you read the Israeli press. You don't know that Nasrallah has promised a war soon and one that will change the map. You don't know that Kassams fall every day in our country. You don't know that we've got incredible problems with our reserve system. You don't know that that we've had a school strike for a month and a university strike for almost that long and no one gives a damn.

November 12, 2007

Since this is the week of the anniversary of the death of both my parents, and since I still look like chalk and can't wear glasses because of my concussion, I try to stay home and do domestic things. Even knitting. I was looking hungrily at the bread maker Dalia left behind but determined to lie down until that desire went away and went to read what Adloyada had to say about her bread maker. If I make bread it's a sign of military danger. I made bread in the Gulf war too.

Adloyada talks about bread and childhood memories. Remind me to tell you my aunt Frieda's take on that.

In the mean time here's a poem distilled from these ramblings:


The seven fat cows lay on their sides, the holes in them
Like windows to our soul. The surviving sisters
Come to lick their faces, to see if there was anything
Left to do, perhaps for their never-to-be-born calves.

The lean ones came from the sky.
They should have been expected.

Joseph could have told us.

The feeling that seven lean years are ahead of us is pretty strong. Annapolis shmanapolis.

November 13, 2007

Now that I've stopped wearing concealer for my black eye, and my head feels much better, and I can go back to reading papers and theses and catch up, the world seems a bit less tragic. Although when I saw the Hamas shooting into the Fatah crowd on the third anniversary of Arafat's death - 7 people killed - I thought the opposite: that the world is much more tragic, and 7 animals don't even begin to measure up against the tragedy of human beings.

We've been able to see some of the range of Israeli theater from the Cameri theater to the Tmuna. From high comedy to metatheater, I've been impressed. But I haven't found anyone to go to the Yiddish theater with me. But then I can't get anyone to go to the Infected Mushroom concert with me either... And both performances fill the theaters here.

November 14, 2007

There should be money for all these theaters. As the director Yossi Yizraeli says theater should be subsidized so it can take chances, and play sometimes to empty halls, and sometimes in the streets. But as with education, our government is not interested. It's like in Dickens' Hard Times: If we could dry up the interest in these frivilous activities, our lives would be more efficient.

The senior faculty of the universities met today - the first time ever as far as i can remember - and, as they say, the place was packed. There were professors hanging from the chandeliers. And the more they spoke the clearer it was that all of us are concerned for the future of the universities. It's not just a professional interest - we talk alot about the brain drain, but the real brain drain is of all those people who are not to be educated because of money. This is a country with a real responsibility to education. I keep thinking of Saint-Exupery - from the Terre des hommes - C'est un peu, dans chacun de ces hommes, Mozart assassiné. The potential here is immense - and the responsibility is great.

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