Tel Aviv Diary - December 12-16, 2011 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 17, 2011

Mount Turmeric is thought to be the real Sinai Mountain - and some of the ancient drawings found there suggest it might be true.

The source is here

If it doesn't come up on my site watch the film there. Even if you don't understand Hebrew, it's worth watching.

I can't find anything in English on the web about the mountain in itself, much less about the burning bush. So these guys bring people up there at 12 noon and they see this light that seems like a burning bush. Apparently the place has got some aura about it that makes it much holier than the professed Mt. Sinai.

December 18, 2011

There have been times in the recent past when I have thought that it will not be necessary for our Arab neighbors to make war on us because we do it so well ourselves, but the amount of killing of civilians in the Arab countries around us have made my thoughts trivial. There seem to be no compunctions about torturing and murdering citizens among our neighbors in the past days, no attempt at discussion and argument, and no sense of humanity. I am sure I join with most of the residents of the Middle East and all of my readers in wishing safety and peace on all.

December 19, 2011

Theoretically, one should be in a thinner state before entering holidays, especially the long holidays, like Passover or Sukkot. But Chanuka may be the most dangerous to the borderline overweight individual, because every night is a celebration which necessitate high-fat fried foods. Not that I'm complaining but tomorrow I'll be making latkes and ... eating them. It will not be easy, but someone's got to do it.

December 20, 2011

Want to see what real antisemitism is? Try this site St Simon of Trent. When I was writing a book about Adelaide Crapsey, in the '80's, I discovered a woman who's father knew her well, and she herself remembered something of her. She was an elderly lady living in a beautiful house in Garden City, N.Y. with her husband, and I visited her twice. feeling my visits reminded her of her past and her father. The third time I came, her husband greeted me at the door and took me into the living room to show me his latest purchase, a C.D. player. He put on a disk and after a few seconds asked me if I identified the music. "It's Richard Wagner," he said. "He knew what to do with people like you." I don't remember how politely he asked me to leave or how I got to the car. But it made me remember what the neighbor children told me when I was a child about the evils of being Jewish. This site brought it all back. I think one should all complain about this kind of racism and get it off the web.

December 21, 2011

Another miracle - Ezi's bone marrow biopsy looks okay.

And another potential miracle. Why can't we revive some of the lost traditions of Chanuka? After all, the book of Judith was part of the Chanuka tradition. And she, like Yael (of Sisera fame) fed the threatening enemy dairy products (as well as wine) and the nasty Assyrian fell asleep (unlike with Yael, before he slept with our heroine)and cheese became the food of Hanuka. But now we've forgotten the cheese and are pigging out on oily tasteless doughnuts. I prefer wine and cheese, and really enjoy the story of how Judith wrapped up the head of Holofernes and put it her picnic basket and brought it home to Betulia (the name means virgin in Hebrew) where they posted it and scared the enemy away. The problem with Judith is that she saved not only the Jews, but pretty much the ancient world, from destructive forces. We seem to prefer the paranoid stories where it's everyone against us, but here we save the world.

Otherwise the story is perfect - of course the historical inaccuracies may be problematic.

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