Tel Aviv Diary November 21-26, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary November 21-26, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 21, 2018

sexual abuse. in a country like this with so many different kinds of communities and so many different traditions it is surprising that the patterns of abuse are so similar. women murdered by their husbands are from all walks of life, incest too. so we have to push that husbands who have been ordered to stay away from their families have to wear a warning bracelet.

do you think it has any connection with the fact that yesterday it was ruled that adulterous wives are not entitled to half the shared property? (adultery for husbands doesn't matter in these cases)

November 22, 2018

The older I get the more sensitive to cold, and the weather is always greatly variable in this months. Yesterday was lovely, today was cold and drizzling. we love drizzle, but as I walked to the grocer's today i found myself walking with a neighbor who asked me about when we will turn on the central heating. it was a welcome question. Ezi is the one who takes care of the furnace and together with another neighbor agree that it is time. It is usually time on December 15. But i would appreciate it if they weren't so obsessive about the exact date this year.

And while we're on the subject of the health and welfare of older people, there has been an epidemic of crime connected with internet and seniors. Seniors who are fearful of the internet and all its ramifications fall easy prey to scams. I almost did myself in the past.

November 23, 2018

"Black Honey," the film about the yiddish poet Avraham Sutskever is incredible. i don't know if there is an english version.

Rochelle Furstenberg writes about it here. The entire audien ce stood up in praise after the film was over, and I couldn't get over it. I once spent an hour or so on the phone with Sutskever that left me with the same feeling. He was truly an inspiring man.

. November 24, 2018

it's a new week but i'm still hung up on last weeks torah portion. it's about Rachel. here's a draft

So I’m sitting on the phallic symbols
I stole from my father
And I tell him I’m on the rag
so he won’t check the saddle bag
of the camel I’m brooding on.

And he moves away
And searches the tent
before he gives up and leaves

aמd I’m left with this household idol
that disappears from the Bible
but continues to generate
under my snatch

November 25, 2018

My new hairdresser's assistant - a beautiful woman in her early thirties - has a tattoo on her left forearm. A quotation from judges that one should rely on no one except oneself. i couldn't read it because the writing - Rashi script - was a bit blurred, but she told me and a chill went through me. the chill came back when an hour later i learned that the bill to inclrease the pensions of uninsured elderly people by 6 shekel a month was turned down by parliament. so the people get 1600 shekel monthly, which is no where near enough to exist. it reminded me of Robert Frost's poem, "Provide, Provide"

The witch that came (the withered hag)
To wash the steps with pail and rag
Was once the beauty Abishag,

The picture pride of Hollywood.
Too many fall from great and good
For you to doubt the likelihood.

Die early and avoid the fate.
Or if predestined to die late,
Make up your mind to die in state.

Make the whole stock exchange your own!
If need be occupy a throne,
Where nobody can call you crone.

Some have relied on what they knew,
Others on being simply true.
What worked for them might work for you

. No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard
Or keeps the end from being hard.

Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!

how can a society not provide for it's elderly, especially one that has undergone such hardships? how can we live in a world in which we do not take care of each other? It is becoming a Hobbesian universe, for sure - and life is for many becoming solitary, nasty, brutish and short. Every one of us has an obligation to do whatever possible to change that. But what can I do for the people of Haled who were chlorine gassed today?

November 25, 2018

Looks like my toenail is not going to make it. i'm supposed to massage the tiny piece that's left with castor oil and hope the root wakes up. this means i can't go on the hike Ezi is taking tomorrow. and i've been released from duty at the hospital by Mira's bedside, so i'm free in the morning. for the first time in weeks, maybe months.

but since Ezi has to get up before 6 to leave I'm off to bed early. Just time enough to watch the latest episode of "The Conductor." No time to gloat over Miri Regev's self-destruction.

to diary

write me