Tel Aviv Diary - November 28-December 2, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 28-December 2, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 28, 2013

Arik Einstein would have said that all this fuss about his death is a distraction technique from the important issues.


The last time I saw him
he pushed back from the table
stood and pulled up his shirt
to show his stomach.
“This,” he said, “this is solid.”
And I agreed.

Last month I passed
the restaurant,
“Crown of the East,”
and thought –
it’s still there

Where I sat once with Eli
who’s long dead, and they’re even now
probably talking song and soccer,
and Arik still drops by.

But today comes with news
suddenly with his death
the spontaneity of a people’s love,
the same public fervor he would have said
distracts us from important issues…

And always always I hear him
on the radio, on my smartphone,
in my head,
wherever I am
and I think:
this, this is solid.

November 29, 2013

The entire city seems to be out on Friday night. At one in the morning. On one section of Rothschild Street. How do people exist here.

November 30, 2013

Because I haven't been very aware for the past few weeks I thought i'd check out what is being said about the Beduin resettlement in the Negev. So I looked here: Ha'aretz article on the Bedouin. It sounds like propaganda to me - and the protests tonight seem to reinforce that conclusion. Two days ago i ran into a demonstration at the university but all the signs were in Arabic so i couldn't understand and/or participate.

The absence of dialogue and information on such a serious subject is appalling. So is my ignorance.

December 1, 2013

Here's a Chanukah scene for you. The remains of the meal are cleared away, the candles are lit, the grandmother sits at the table with her tiny grandsons teaching them... how to use the dreidel to gamble away their chanuka money. It's becoming a forgotten tradition. You put money in the pot, start taking turns:
Nun - nisht - you get nothing
Gimmel - gans - you get the pot
Heh - halb - you get half the pot
and here's where the problem starts. The dreidel says nes gadol hayah initials for a great miracle happened.. If you live abroad, your dreidl says Shin - shtel - and you have to add to the pot. Shin for sham, There. But if you live in Israel, the dreidl says Pei for Poh, here. If the miracle happened here, in Israel, you can't really get into the logic of gambling.

Of course the bigger problem in this Channuka picture is that granny (me) is teaching the kids how to gamble.

December 2, 2013

When my friend Ann Birstein went to Eilat she said it was just like Marjorie Morningstar - that is the Catskills in the '50s. It's deeply degenerated since her visit about ten years ago but we're still going there, taking all the kids. i don't know what got into me to suggest that idea - and although there's still time, i'm beginning to dread the vacation.

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