Tel Aviv Diary May 13-17, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary --May 13-17, 2018 Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 13, 2018

Neta Barzillai took first place in the Eurovision contest. Tel Aviv has been standing in line waiting to get into her shows for years.And now our faith has been proven throughout Europe. Despite efforts to diminsh 'different' people and Israel, she made it through. We're incredibly proud of her!

on our way to hear the brandenburg concertos tonight we found a bunch of kids at the entrance singing and dancing "Toy" May 14, 2018

Where else in the world are there such great joys and such tragedies? Gaza is terrifying. How can the death of so many be justified? or prevented? When I was a student, my seminar teacher R. J. Kaufman, sat at the head of our small table and asked "what is pain?" and he smashed his fists together. "two things trying to occupy the same place." then he added, "that's also the definition of love." How is it that this remains in my mind well over fifty years later?

ditto jerusalem.

but in tel aviv the celebrations continue. Netta - who is much more than a chicken dance - is thrilled to bring joy to the country - holds on to the stereotypical role of "toy" for our sakes. and it is a welcome relief.

May 15, 2018

getting ready for shvuot. schools like to celebrate holidays fpr days before the actual vacation. so we are treated to one celebration after another. In this environment of uncertainly, conflict, danger, it is even more necessary to celebrate the giving of the Torah.

May 16, 2018

Of course I follow the news. of course I count every single injury and killing. Of course I don't digest most of what I read and hear and see. How can I think of each human being, each person, each life lost? Whether or not most of these people are Hamas soldiers as the Gazans are saying, the whole scene is a terrible tragedy for all sides.

But I would have been even more unhappy if those guys had accomplished their goal and come to visit me.

I read the Times yesterday, but didn't see this about the role the Gazans have played in their own pain. It is of course right. The use of concrete to build tunnels instead of homes, schools and hospitals is inconceivable, so we don't think of it. Blowing up one's own gas line is not to be comprehended in our society. 10,000 rockets, 35 tunnels, hundreds of unnecessary deaths - the mind cannot fathom something like this.

But there are a lot of things my my cannot fathom.

Such as how i would behave in this situation. Fortunately, an article in the Times of Israel explains this. "We did all we could to avoid killing" he says.

I wasn't there and have no important moral decisions to describe. Anyway I prefer to describe the little task I just accomplished in half an hour - buying white clothes for 2 grandchildren for their shvuot assemblies. I began in one shop - the saleswoman, in an uncomfortable looking wool hijab, had no customers. i asked for a white t-shirt, and white shorts because they were needed for today's performance. they were not to be found. however, she caught me eyeing the white dresses and explained that they were on sale. "You're trying to seduce me," I warned. And I would have been seduced, but i knew the t-shirt and pants were vital and the dress - however six-year-old cute - was not. So I said I'd be back and went to a second shop. There was a t-shirt. Not perfect, but admissable. "Ring it up," I said, knowing how out of date that expression is as she computed the total. Then off to a third shop where a pair of shorts were right in a pile near the door. Ring ring. then back to the first shop where I was informed that the lady leaving the shop had my dress. "Never mind," said the saleswoman, "We have another one in the attic." and after a few minutes down from the attic it came. it is something like a confirmation dress except in white cotton, and i wish i were 6. "Happy Holiday," she said, and I forgot to say "Ramadan Kareem."

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