Tel Aviv Diary - July 24-28, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - July 24-28 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

July 24, 2013

So I walk into the health clinic this afternoon, go through the security check, ask where the eye clinic is (6th floor) and get in the elevator with another woman. The door does not close. We press our floors (2,6) and the buttons do not register. We get out, and cross over to the other elevator. That doesn't work either. Wha? The guard answers us from the other side of the room - "It's a security drill. Wait a few minutes." Can't do that. I'm already late for my tests. I walk. As I am passing the fourth floor, I finally see someone else using the staircase - a woman going down. "Are the elevators working again?" I ask. "Sure," she says. I do my test with my heart pounding but no one else seems aware of anything amiss. Later on the news I hear something about a dummy bomb in Ramat Gan meant to scare the Maccabiah people.

Oh, and I passed the eye test

This film was made by Orit Alkalay for the event we had for the book launch at Comme-Il-Faut in 1999. We all look younger. And smarter.

July 25, 2013

"How long have you BEEN in this country?" My cleaner said to me this morning. "How is it you don't understand Russian?"

July 26, 2013

For our anniversary today we were going to take a trip. Ashkelon. Somewhere south. But we couldn't get ourselves together and wound up going to the museum. Of all the art work the most moving to me was the photography of Micha Bar Am. The views of the Yom Kippur war from a personal vantage point, the soldiers, the prisoners, the bombs, the explosions. I remember the stories from then as if they were yesterday. My life was changed on Yom Kippur.

July 27, 2013

Hanale's Sabbath Dress. It is Saturday morning and I go with Noa to a classic Hebrew children's play. The theater is full of little girls and their mothers - clearly not religious because they are with us at the theater on a Sabbath. But the play is about the children preparing for the holy day. Hanale invites her friends for the Friday night dinner - Oneg Shabbat,gets a new white dress for the Sabbath, gets lost with her friend and her dress on the way home before the Sabbath, and while helping an old man carry his coal home, gets her dress dirty. But her good deed gets the dirt transformed to stars and she returns home just in time for Sabbath hymns.

All the parents were transfixed, singing along even on the way out of the theater. The children, however, seemed a bit confused. Do non-religious people still keep the Sabbath? Do they sing hymns on Friday night? The division between the observant and the spiritual jews seems to be growing.

July 28, 2013

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