Tel Aviv Diary December 27-31, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - December 27-31, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 27,2019

at 8 in the morning yesterday we went to pick up the kids for the morning - babysitting. but when Omer came out without a coat because he lost his, we went straight for a mall. And the little surprise is that the earlier the better. By 9 the shops were open but there were no other customers. so while Ezi had breakfast, i took the kids next door to Fox. There were two girls in hijabs setting up. i showed them the boy, asked for a fitting and a sweatshirt for the girl and within minutes we joined Ezi for breakfast. the girls, it turned out, were students in the English department, and I'm sure, will check me out soon. i know my own experience of shopping is different from most Israelis.

But now we must cook supper for 19, Bat Mitzvah tomorrow and guests today. I guess my experience is not so different from most Israelis.


December 28, 2019

whoops - i forgot to save. i wrote something, went to my stepdaughter's bat mitzvah and erased it by mistake. so i watched a program on why we hate. and if i was wondering why i never believe psychology entirely, despite the fact that i devoted two years to it - i saw the answer tonight. first off they said that forming opinions - like for left or right - are genetic. that family training may be a part of our creating prejudices, but it is also basically genetic. This really explains to me why families have been fighting over politics lately. secomd, some guy was trying to be objective about the israel/palestinian conflict. he said that the palestinians were angry that their land had been given away and the jews were obsessed with the holocaust. this is such a partial explanation that completely warps the fact that the situation began when this land was promised to both of us by the British if we would help out in WWI, and then ;ater when we were told this would be a two state solution. the palestinians, whi hadn't yet concieved of themselves as a single nation with a unified country, weren't in a position to work this out. so the Arab armies opened on all fronts and violent war ensued. the solution to this conflict, it was suggested, is to find something to solve together that would benefit both parties. this is what Shimon Peres was trying to do by making mutually beneficial economic deals. But both parties have to agree on this. this is a problem.

December 29, 2019

Last night was my granddaughter's bat mitzvah. the family from around the world, great excitement. exhaustion today. So after a great vegetarian lunch at Anastasia, and a walk down Dizengoff, we came home to watch Tel Aviv on Fire. Now, my guests from abroad know nothing about some of the conflicts in Israel and if nothing else, this movie expresses them. it's also amazingly funny. There aren't many experiences that so

December 30, 2019

Yes, I fell asleep on my computer last night. too much going on.

"Is there a war going on here?" my visiting American granddaughter asked, "any rockets? shellngs?" And i, with my apps warning of attacks, answered confidently, "Not here!" But I wasn't thinking of what's going on in Iraq. it's strange - i'm usually so connected to the news - In the old days the busses turned on the news every hour, and everyone listened breathlessly. because everything on the news affected the individual. it's still true here, but i managed to escape for the week. And my American grandchild never has to be involved because her daily life is not influenced by what politicians decide.

How would I be affected by Bibi's request today for immunity? My belief in this government is even further eroded. But the people should have known. Who believed he wouldn't ask for immunity once he won the primaries? Miri Regev echoed his justification for immunity "So the government won't hesitate to act. " His charges are for bribery, for heaven's sake!

December 31, 2019

It is almost over - this 2019 - thank goodness. not that i see such a rosy 2020 ahead. i feel about this decade like Dryden felt about the seventeenth century/ In his first play, "A Secular Masque," written for the last night of the century:


All, all of a piece throughout;
Thy chase had a beast in view;
Thy wars brought nothing about;
Thy lovers were all untrue.
'Tis well an old age is out,
And time to begin a new.

let's work on that.

My google search turned up an article that mentions me that i didn't know about. it's just in passing but it seems to imply that writing in a language other than hebrew is a form of rebellion. this makes sense, especially since the other language i write in is Yiddish, and the Hebrew came to me as a translation from the Yiddish, not a language in itself. however it has long embarrassed me that i don't write well in Hebrew. it just doesn't come. and the more i try, the larger my vocabulary is, the less i am capable of using it properly. Maybe i am rebelling in some way...

one thing that is new and wonderful is Lahav Shani conducting the Israel Philharmonic. it is as though he put pepper into the tired orchestra. Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite, Ben-Haim: Symphony no. 1, Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major - they were so tuned and lively. just the thing to give hope for the next year.

write me

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