Tel Aviv Diary - February 21-25, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - February 21-25, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 21, 2013

Nearly everyone in Dizengoff center was in costume today.

February 22, 2013

So I decided to celebrate Purim in the way of my favorite yiddish song, "Yachne Dvoshe,": I made hamentoshen. Just like Yachne Dvoshe, I got myself all worked up, forgot to buy half of what I needed, and wound up with something very home-made looking, but at least not burnt or raw. I was, however, covered with flour and the kitchen looked quite like Yachne's. You can hear Theodore Bikel sing the song on youtube.

When Shmulik Kraus died this week, I thought of some of the great songs he wrote and felt very sad. But today, as I was listening to a memorial program of his songs on the radio, I remembered suddenly sitting around a table with him at cafe Kassit. It was an amazing moment. Dahn Ben Amotz wanted to show me off to his friends and invited me to a Friday afternoon session at Kassit. I had translated some things for him and Didi Manoussi and he told me he wanted me to meet all kinds of people I could work with. It was in 1983, and I was enjoying my moment of fame clinking glasses with the guys, when Ezi came by with the four kids asking when I would be coming home. It was a great moment. Dahn was crestfallen as the truth behind his constructed image of me (and him) had been ruined, Shmulik looked at this sight as if I had totally disrupted his vision of life. Of course I went off happily with the kids and my husband and never looked back.

February 25, 2013

What can I say - I'm okay during the day, but as evening nears the agony of a bladder infection kicks in and I find myself prostrate in front of the television. The medication hasn't helped so far, but tomorrow after the blood test I'm going on some super-antibiotic and I'll be able to start the new semester on Thursday. That's where I've disappeared to. The tv screen.

The news itself is enough to make me sick. It's been clear for a while that unless some motion is made toward peace talks something will ignite the powder keg. And the death of a young man in prison may be that match. It doesn't matter that he died of a heart attack and the injuries sustained were incurred in the process of resuscitation. What matters is what the Palestinians want to believe. And what they want to believe is a function of how we behave to them. Very depressing. We haven't learned the basics of how to behave.

This film of a Polish shtetl in 1938 only somewhat alleviated my sadness.

For a Tel Aviv version of this, check

this out.

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