Tel Aviv Diary - April 19-23, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

April 24, 2014

AND Bibi walks into Abu Mazin's trap once again. Peace talks cancelled. And we did it. It's like we're the kindergarten kid who gets poked and poked and then explodes and the teacher shouts at him for making noise.

April 25, 2014

Grandparents' Day at Omer's nursery was mixed today with Holocaust Day and Independence Day and we were entertained with klezmer musicians and an actress who told stories from Sholem Aleichem. It was a tiny bit over the heads of the three year olds but a pleasant change from entertaining children. She taught them words in Yiddish, a story from Kadya Molodowska about recycling a coat that left them confused, and a tale of Motel the Cantor's son who sold Kvas. What could they understand of the experience of poverty that the humor was hiding and showing at the same time? May they never know, I prayed, what it is like to sell your bed for food and sleep on the floor like Motel's family experienced. May no child have to learn to understand Sholem Aleichem.

April 25, 2014

We've been eating out a lot lately and suddenly decided to compare our experiences with Trip Advisor. Little connection. The real places we enjoy only sometimes make the list at all, and many of the high rated places. are tourist traps we've never heard of before. it is always the case, I suppose. What you see as a tourist is not what you experience when you live...

I may take off for Holocaust Day. As much as it pains me to learn more and more about the fate of individual stories and as much as it is important to do so, I can't bear the increasing use of the holocaust for political purposes.

April 28, 2014

And yet I can't bear to ignore the suffering of so many. It is not only the 6 million. How many millions are touched by this disaster? Not just people like my neighbor who screams all the time after Mengele's experiments. Not just children of those who were killed or those who survived. It goes on and on, determining our relationship to ourselves, to others, to objects, to food. Our need to provide ourselves with protection - against hunger, against loss - is in every act of every day.

One of my small secrets is the fear I sometimes have suddenly when I am in the midst of enormous pleasure with my grandchildren that someone will come and pick one up by the feet and dash his/her delicate head against the wall like my cousins in Zhedtl. I've never admitted this before.

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