Tel Aviv Diary - May 23-27, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 2, 2014

Tikkun. Correction. Adjustment. On the eve of Shvuot tomorrow there are a number of all-night sessions about it. Tikkun Leil Shvuot. Maybe if I weren't so behind in my with friends I might go. But there are close friends I haven't had a chance to see in months. So I did my tikkun today at the dermatologist and tomorrow will feast and drink all night. How does that sound?

I spent part of the evening tonight discussing the term 'apartheid' with a grandson. "My father has operated on wounded Syrians," he said to me, "And he's always treated patients from Palestine, and of course from all over this country. How cn we be defined as Apartheid?"

There is a separation here between Jews and Arabs, and there are political conflicts, " I answered, "but the important thing is inequal treatment before the law." "The laws are not inequal, he said, and I thought that was meant to be true, but has never worked out. After he went to sleep I remembered a joke I heard at least thirty years ago about two jews and an arab talking in prison. "How long did you get?" they asked each other, and it turned out they all were given five year terms. "What are you in for?" one jew asks the other, and the first jew said, "armed robbery. and what about you?" "rape." They turn to the arab, "and you?" "Oh, I ran through a red light."

June 3,2014

Friends from abroad relaying their experiences with the medical establishments reassured us that our local doctors and our health services are amazing. It's true - Ezi had a blood test in the morning and by noon the answers came to his cell phone. I take it for granted. but tonight i learned that israelis have developed a blood test to detect breast cancer. We seem to be really good at this health thing. Is it because we're such hypochondriacs?

June 4, 2014

Eve of Ezi's birthday. It doesn't help me to know that the heat wave has made the Rolling Stone's concert even more difficult then just, the usual circumstances in the park would have made it. i am still incredibly sorry i couldn't go.

June 5,2014

And everyone I knew went - many wondering why i wasn't. Wonder where they are now.

We celebrated Ezi's birthday by going to the Israel Museum with some of the kids.

These kids were made for museums, and the museums were made for them. The space is open, and the subjects explained and overexplained. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is particularly pretentiously pleasant. I love the space. The only thing i don't always love about it is the text. For example, the exhibit on Jewish clothing is smashing, but why is it 'jewish' and why does covering 'erase' the self when it could just as well 'create' an identity.

June 6, 2014

The ceilings are nice in Jamilla, a restaurant in Jaffa. So is the floor. And the long dishes look very good. Ezi liked the eggplant baladi he had. The ribs were good but why they were served with stuffed vines leaves escaped me. That was it. Despite the great reviews this place got, I got a headache from the noise, the music, trying to talk and more - trying to listen to what others said. And the waiter - standing over us as we tried to figure out the bill, that was impossible.

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