Tel Aviv Diary July 30, 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - July 30 - August 3 , 2005 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

July 30, 2005

When I said that I made a choice when I decided to keep living in a 'small' apartment and not move to a big house in the territories, despite the economic attraction, I got a lot of raised eyebrows. But people I know who did decide to live there knew the significance of their choice as well. They all signed an agreement that when and if the government decides to pull out of those areas they will go alog with the decisions. That's another reason I have a problem with the settlers' outrage now.

Givat Haim, a kibbutz created by survivors of Thereisenstat, hosts a workshop every year for the recreation of work composed in the Camp. I didn't find it on the web, but apparently everyone around here but me knows about this institute.

My friend Boomy, who does master classes every year, makes it sound like an increidble institution - which brings the lost music and lost souls back to life. I just missed this years institute - but next year I hope i'll be able to be there. Certainly I'll be visiting there is the near future.!

July 31, 2005

Because I am so unorganized and unfocused in what I write here (from the hip) sometimes my words come back to haunt me. Not that I am misquoted, or even that I am quoted out of context, but that I usually say that I am not the authority in some subject, and then, quoted, I am suddenly considered the authority, as if I know what I am saying, when I'm just trying to raise issues. Look at this entry from <"a href=""> August 6, 2002 for example, about Sheikh Munis. It's quoted, among other places, on a Palestinian site. to show that even we Jews know there is something wrong with what we did with the lands... Then Barry Chamish gleefully quotes me from an old diary entry January 3, 2003about the rumors about Sharon. So I get quoted from right and left. The only problem I have with these is that you have to PUT IT ALL TOGETHER! The right is wrong, the left is wrong, the world is wrong, i'm wrong, you're wrong - and the sooner we understand this, and get past this fact the sooner we have a chance to get over this pettiness and solve some real problems.

August 1, 2005

In the Holon cemetery yesterday, we waited at the entrance for the small group to gather for a memorial service, and reminisced about funerals. "In the old days in Jerusalem," said one, "a cryer would come down the street calling out, 'sara cohen the daughter of reb moshe has just died - follow me to the funeral' and the people would pour out of their houses to join the group." There was something very comforting in the social concord, for the society as well as the mourners. And it occurred to me that the discord now - the division of our society between those who agree and those who don't agree with the disengagement - is even more painful in the light of the religion which unites all jews at some level. Judaism is the only religion named for the people, not the prophet or the leader or the God, and the idea of community is important to Jews. This is true despite the well-known truism that if you have two Jews you have three opinions. Jews disagree, we hate each other, we curse (my present favorite belongs to Rivka Michaeli, who plays the mother of an air hostess on a local soap opera, and says to her daughter "I've seen hemmorhoids better looking than you."), but in the final analysis we get to some kind of modus vivendi. Like the rabbi who, hearing an argument between two members of his congregation, said to one, "You're right." And when other had explained his case, said to him, "You're right." And when the witnessed complained, "But Rabbi, they can't both be right!" the rabbi answered, "You're right too."

August 2, 2005

This is very embarassing.

I don't know how to say this.

I saw Ehud Barak on television last night and he almost impressed me.

Let's talk about something else. I'm clearly so desperate for a leader that...


His analysis of the disengagement reminded me of the judgement of the rabbi when he was asked whether the chicken that fell into the chamber pot was still kosher. "It's kosher," he said, "But it stinks."

Why am I so into rabbis now? Because I need a leader.

My friend responds from the U.S.: "Israel hasn't had real leaders since BG and Begin" and suggests Avram Burg and Yael Dayan as admirable. He's right, but the good guys can't make it in politics around here. They get disgusted and leave. Maybe if they all got together....

But for that you'd need huge sums of money like the protestors who are crowding in Sderot right now - well-stocked, well-organized, with good tents, good equipment, buses, food, etc. (Who's paying for all this, you ask? Me. The taxpayer.) Now if the left got together with all that money behind it - we'd have leaders, good spirits, and all of it.

No. We'd give the tents to the homeless, use the food to feed the poor, and go home dissatisfied and guilty to watch television.

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