Tel Aviv Diary - March 4, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - March 4-8, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

March 4, 2010

March 5, 2010

What happened to yesterday? It was one of those days that raced by with all kinds of contretemps, ending with my favorite dinner at Pappa's, radiatorre, with ricotta cake for dessert. It's only the radiatorre and the cake that I remember.

Together with the passing fact realization there were fewer hijabs at the university then I'd noted last week. What happened? Did they take off the hijabs or did they just leave?

An extended family gathering - I learn that many of my relatives of the next generation have been exploring their family roots. My niece, who is related to me only by marriage, goes back easily a few generations on her mother's side, and on her Italian father's side can trace relatives back to the sixteenth century. A similarly related nephew has found records and records of his relatives in Poland. I am jealous for a moment, thinking of the whole in my family's history created by the Holocaust, but then stop. The greatest hole is Amos, my other nephew's loss - less than two years ago - and it is palpable in his children's eyes, in his widow's determination, in his mother's eternal sadness. The lack I feel of a family history is a theoretical one, the lack of Amos is real.

March 6, 2010

Shusha had her first shearing of this year - this is concommitant to saying i think the heavy winter is over. It might get cold again, but not really cold. The birds are saying the same thing. The chirping all day was constant. Only now, that the sun is going down, and where each one will spend the night is all settled, is it becoming silent. The stories of the birds are much more audible during the quiet sabbath, and their joy is palpable.

When Abraham died his two sons buried him in the Cave of the Patriarchs. Shouldn't they both fix it up together now?

March 6, 2010

I didn't know about the puppet center in Holon. I didn't know there was a museum, a school, international festivals, performances. I didn't know it was the only one in the world. A pretty wonderful place - with some pretty wonderful people in it

March 7, 2010

It is pretty difficult to believe - especially for me - that i haven't seen Ajami yet. I've been meaning to see it for months, not only because it's supposed to be great, but also for the language - the sound of Palestinian Arabic. It's different from Egyptian, Lebanese or Jordanian Arabic, and I understand it better. Even though Mr. Copti, the director, feels he isn't representing Israel at the Oscars, he's got Israel in his vision, his words, his pain. He's also got a couple million bucks from the Israeli government in his movie. I must admit I feel more of a kinship toward Palestinian Arabs then, say, the Lithuanians my ancestors lived with for generations. The interweave is complex, unique, and profound.

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