Tel Aviv Diary - March 30 - April 3, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 30, 2014

Land Day. land day. land day. what a day to declare we're not going to return prisoners because they don't want to declare that we're a jewish state. not very delicate. I know that land day only started in 1974, but it started as a result of our little land appropriations that to me were not appropriate.

We are a jewish state, but what is the significance of that definition and why are the arabs so against it. because we originally defined it as a sanctuary and now the definition has to be clarified because it feels like fascism. So what if there are other countries who declare themselves Moslem - like Malaysia. We have to be clear that the Jewishness does not negate freedom for other nations. For we were strangers...

March 30, 2014

I was into the idea of having a champagne and pizza party at pappas next monday, but suddenly i realized it's time to start getting ready for passover. oy passover. A big seder. I've started cleaning out my cupboards and am beginning to figure out the gargantuan menu. maybe it's time to concentrate on kneidlach, and forget about pizza and champagne for the moment. Time to go traditional.

March 31, 2014

Now that our ex-prime-minister has been convicted of bribery along with all the other guys who created the worst eyesore in Israel, the Holyland project, i'm thinking that maybe we should be creating a separate little prison for all our corrupt politicians.

which reminds me. In going over my brother's translation of my aunt Hasia's Yiddish account of her terrible trials in the holocaust, i broke out laughing. She talks about having to scrub out jails and uses the word "tumeh" - it's the right word but it comes from the Hebrew "Tameh" which means unclean. the sudden suitability of the word seemed ridiculous. It's a pretty gruesome history otherwise and my brother wanted me to do the translation but i got sick with every other sentence.

April 1, 2014

Friends keep calling to apologize for not calling yesterday - but they were all grief-stricken. Hirshson's embezzling of Holocaust funds, Katzav's sexual exploits, all the forging of documents and exploitation along the way and now Ehud Olmert and all his band. We're all sure much more will emerge from this scandal and perhaps this will be the beginning of honest government. But it seems like another heavy blow that we're just groggy about.

April 2, 2014

Where have I been? To the doctors, the doctors... 'In my day,' says the sixty-nine-year old narrator, 'when you were sick you stayed home and the doctor came to you.' That's my excuse for yesterday. When Gilad said I should go back to Dr. Avi Gold for my knee I looked him up on Maccabi-Online. But the bladder infection I can't get rid of seems to affect my brain and I must have read the wrong address and phone. 'Oh, he's moved.' I told myself. And when I called and the secretary was so nice and efficient, and told me to come at 5:15 I thought, 'Oh, the secretary must have been replaced.' I made Ezi come with me because it's so hard for me to walk. Any we got to this new office and I said, 'Is this the office of...' and she said yes. But after an hour, when I got in to see him I recognized him as Dr. Godwin, the doctor who treated my mother-in-law many years ago. He was very important even back then and we were then in great awe of him. Embarassing. But I really had to see the knee specialist I'd gone to before. So I backed out of the dignified doctor's office, and called Gilad, who recognized immediately that I was not capable of taking care of myself and phoned Dr. Gold, who agreed to see me. We drove to his office, convinced the secretary to add me to the list, and waited another hour. But it was worth it. 'So you went to Godwin by mistake,' he said and I think I saw the smirk. He had my file before him, examined my leg and said, 'so you've come for an injection?' 'Is there an alternative?' 'an operation. are you fasting?' Anyway, he sent me to the pharmacy to get the cortisone, and within another ho,pur I was back home and in much less pain then I've been in weeks.

April 3, 2014

I would have liked to have heard Shula Zaken's testimony today. It would have fit in with all my thoughts of Ehud Olmert and of her all these years. Maybe all these discoveries of political and moral corruption are just rinsing away the dust that was choking us all these years...

The IAWE and English Dept of TAU sponsored a poetry reading today and I have to tell you that there are some great poems in English in Israel and it is a shame that the Hebrew speakers don't know about them. The break between Hebrew and other languages keeps Hebrew in a bubble.

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