Tel Aviv Diary - June 7-11, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - June 12-16, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 12 , 2010

but i can't really stay away. More later.

June 14, 2010

Because this is a Tel Aviv Diary, and not a Florence diary, I have not included all the churches and libraries and restaurants and pharmacies and piazzas in these pages. I have said nothing of the poetry festival in which I am participating, and nothing of the wonderful people I am meeting. Fascinating as it all is, it seems to have no importance, But today, when we came upon the great synagogue of Florence, there is no way I can be silent. First, it is a magnificent structure, and the museum offers a view of Jewish life in Florence for hundreds of years, as well as the sadness of a memorial for those lost in the war. The synagogue itself is a wonderful relief after churches. There are no pedagogical graphics, no paintings of significant wonders, but only the magnificence of abstraction. Moorish, with something of a Christian structure, but with a definite Jewish flavor, the synagogue seems to purposely teach a different lesson about what religion is, and what should be the relationship between the individual and the prayer. Itís not surprising, then, that it is overlooked by most tourists: itís just so different an experience. What is surprising, though, was the fact the very few Israelis visit. The curator was delighted to see us, and to consider our questions, which come from a different understanding than that of the average tourist (all Jewish as far as I could tell). I wish we had been allowed to take photographs, because there really is so much to see, and so little that can be explained about it.

June 16, 2010

Hey where are you guys? I know it's a little rainy, I know that Ralph Fiennes is reading Dante down the street, but I still expect you to be there tonight. Nine thirty in the library.

I'm still amazed by Florence and will set a seperate page on it when i get home on thursday.

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