Tel Aviv Diary - March 26-30, 2015 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 26, 2015

Tamar has part of the answer:
1) There is a well known (though hard-to-find) midrash (Midrash Alpha Beta Acheres d'Ben Sira 9) which states that King David felt he understood the purpose of everything in creation except for a very few things, one of them being the spider. Then on one occasion, while fleeing from King Saul, David ran into a cave. A spider quickly came along and wove a web over the entrance. Saul, seeing an undisturbed web, concluded that no one had entered the cave and went off. David, after realizing what had happened, humbly corrected his misconception. (
2) He [David] was compelled to change his mean opinion of the spider in his flight before Saul, when he was hiding in a cave, and his pursuers, seeing a spider's web across the front of the cave, thought it useless to enter; for God had commanded the spider at that moment to give a proof of its usefulness (Ben Sira, l.c.; partly in Targ. to Ps. lvii. 3; compare Levy, "Chal. Wörterb." (

Iv haven't found the story in the Koran - yet. But I will ask the first Muslim I meet.

When I first came to Israel, the guy who shlepped the boxes of my books to my room sat on a box and asked, "Have you actually read all of them?" (Later I'm pretty sure I saw him in a group called "The Natural Alternative" (Breira Tiv'it). He was truly puzzled. There were many people that were actually puzzled at seeing something they never saw before. Books were expensive - and rare. Now well over 40 years later I have many more books and they gather dusty in the pre-Pesach sharab (duststorms). So I asked a friend over to help me thin out the library. How hard information was to get back then, and how easily we can now connect to the world. And yet how the connection between Israel and the world seems to be breaking minute by minute.

March 27, 2015

Yesterday's gone. The hot weather, the sudden drop in humidity, the sandy air, got to me for the first time ever. Even though I know many people who react that way - with headaches, exhaustion, maybe even fever - I've always welcomed the heat. But this Friday got to me, maybe because I'm going to be 70 on Sunday. Just to show we are part of our environment.

March 29, 2015

So this is how I spent my birthday. The afternoon with kids and grandchildren, including the ones abroad by skype. The next morning we went to see the presentation of the play I did the narration for at the Puppet Theater in Holon. I had kind of seen some video, and read the text into a mike many many times, but didn't get the real sense of it until i saw it on the stage.

this is the silent version

it was amazing. I felt like one of the millions of the children lost in the holocaust, puppets all.

March 30, 2015

Afterwards we went to Cassis, which was closed, so we headed up to Abu Nassar for lunch. Once again I looked around the Peres Peace Center and wonder how anyone gets in there. it looks like anything but a peace center, more of a modern fortress with no access to locals, the serfs

I started today with the news that I will need a full hip replacement, and it won't be fun. But the day got better and better. Shoshi Stavi and I wept over photographs of Anna Margolin. But I wont publish them.

March 31, 2015

I need to go shopping, but I don't dare - the crowds are too crazy. i don't know how this holiday turned into a shopping frenzy but everyone is out there buying clothes for the seder. sheets. presents, presents, presents. humbug i say. humbug.

And yet I go.

3d Printer

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