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

May 23, 2014

Learning about Rome from inside - not from the Forum but the streets. more to come

May 24, 2014

After a few days of visiting museums, enjoying the city, feeling incredibly sophisticated, I read the news about the murder in Brussels - people standing in front of the Jewish Museum. Let's see, Kansas City last month...It's beginning to feel strange to be out of Israel.

May 24, 2014

Our flight on Easyjet was delayed about 4 hours - first by a few minutes, then half an hour, then three hours, so we couldnt really go on some other adventure at the airport, but stood near the gate. this gave us a bit of a sense of brotherhood. At one point all the guys were plugged into the phone charge pole, and I crawled in underneath to get a chance at a plug, and from below I could hear the chattering in Arabic and Hebrew, and hear and there a bit of English. It seemed so normal, so banal

and yet some Arab men did not speak Hebrew or English or Italian, and the Israelis spoke little Arabic and yet the need to connect was the same. Also the absolute need to accomodate the delay into our daily lives. For me my refusal to get upset about this delay was connected to the contrast of the tragedy in Brussels yesterday. How little we have to complain about in today's world. For some of the older Arab men it was clear they were taking their lives with them, sacks of food, serving women. For some of the Israeli men it was just another adventure.

May 26, 2014

We returned to Israel together with the pope,and I turned on the television to follow it. But it was so embarrassing - our rabbis and prime minister turning a visit of friendship in which the pope declared the need for accepting the differences of others into a complaint session about the horrors the other inflicts on us. Both sides. The Mufti, the rabbis, everyone complaining. Only our president made me feel he was on the same wave length as the pope.

They planted a tree together and that was nice.

May 27, 2014

I was thinking that if only the Pope had decided to stay a bit longer we could have elected HIM president. Today he said that priestly celibacy is not dogma, but practice, and I suddenly remembered my days in a Jesuit high school, when i was studying French with Tina. How she got us in a French class in McQuaid high school I can't recall, but I do remember spending a great deal of time with the priests and wishing they could marry. Tina and I found Jesuit clergy incredibly fetching. Now my friend Shlomo tells me that the only reason for celibacy was keeping church property within the confines of the church. that is, inheritance. The attraction of Jesuit priests has diminished in my eyes.

Back to Tel Aviv. This evening in the Little Prince book shop there was a book launch for E.L. Friefeld and Lois Michal Unger's book, Back to Back. I haven't been in their new shop on King George Street, but it is much bigger than it looks, with a nice garden in the back. And there are some English books too.

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