Tel Aviv Diary October 27, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary October 27-31, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 27, 2018

45 rockets last night within 12 hours. but 7 hours of quiet so far. This after a week of agreements with Hamas, opening of borders, etc. Take a look on the map and see the tiny area of Israel next to Gaza and think of how dense that rocket fire is.

Now that we have a normal tv service I have been spending an inordinate amount of time 'catching up' on series, and the first show of "Madame Secretary" was one of my first choices. Ezi has a problem with it because he doesn't like the mix of fact and fiction. he says it is blurring the distinctions and people like Trump and Bibi cash in on it. But I have said repeatedly that when it is clearly fiction it is a way of teaching and directing fact and providing alternative ways of seeing what reality can be.. and I'm sure that's why Madeline Albright, Colin Powell and Hilary Clinton agreed to appear on a fictional program and advise the secretary of state about patriotism and "e pluribus unum." When the fictional character has been helped by the real former secretaries of state, she then gives the kind of speech all of the world would be proud to hear.

who would think such a tragedy would occur on a day like today, so soon after the bombs. i feel like i was there.

October 28, 2018

Apparently my computer accounts were under attack yesterday, and all i can think about is Pittsburgh.i just wanted to get to the news and my computer was saying there is hate everywhere - antisemitism is part of it. time to hunker down and figure out how to change things.

October 28, 2018

Today Linda Streit was given an award of "Bonei Yisrael" - the award was given in the Knesset Building and we came more than an hour earlier after a long voyage to Jerusalem. It is now five in the afternoon and we are digesting the ceremony. Linda was awarded the prize along with six others for her contribution to the country in the field of sports for founding the Daniel Amichai Rowing Center, and her work made me very proud. Actually her work has made me proud ever since it was founded, and i have been happy to serve on the committee of Friends. People should be highlighted for contributing to society, and the others who won the award with her were extremely deserving.

The tragedy in Pittsburgh cast a pall on everything of course, and some people used the opportunity to encourage people to move to Israel, along the lines of Mark Twain's famous advice: “Behold, the fool saith, "Put not all thine eggs in the one basket" - which is but a matter of saying, "Scatter your money and your attention"; but the wise man saith, "Pull all your eggs in the one basket and - WATCH THAT BASKET." - Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar.” Sorry, I don't agree. You can't watch any basket close enough - some one some how will find a way to step on those eggs and break them. put them in a lot of little baskets and watch those baskets. I don't think that antisemitism is so much on the rise, but it has been ignored, encouraged and armed, so careful watching is necessary.

A few days ago my yiddish book was reviewed in the Forwards, where i was first published 62 years ago. Zackary Sholem Berger's review has encouraged me again to continue writing in Yiddish. Despite the fact that my family can't read a word. Well, that's not exactly true - Ezi reads and sometimes understands...Anyway, here's the review. if you give it a try, you can double-click each word and get the translation in English.

October 29, 2018

I don't think I can keep on hitting the ground running. suddenly i realize i can't do it all. An easy trip to the airport to pick up a new student from India left me with a migraine that might stop me from going to a play tonight after class.

October 30, 2018

The polls have closed and now the tension begins - who will be mayor? I voted for the old guy even though i like the young one too, but i think we might as well squeeze the last juice out of the old mayor and give the young guy a chance next time. Either way, Tel Aviv will remain, i think, the same - crazy, independent, totally unlike the rest of the country, but always vulnerable.

Last night we saw Sholem Asch's play, "The God of Vengence," written in 1907 in Yiddish and presented in Russian and German before it was performed in the original. it is a devastating play even today, not because of the lesbian relationship between the lady-like daughter of the brothel owner and the prostitute, but because it destroys hope for redemption through external signs of religions. I had the feeling throughout that it was aimed at our minister of culture, and it is not surprising that the director has now left the country and the Cameri for good. This play was the slamming of his door in the face of our hypocrisy. I wrote 'our' and not our leaders' and considered changing that mistake, but maybe it isn't a mistake, and maybe we are not any better than our brothel owner.

October 31, 2018

the elections were apparently a success and our guys got in. now the big question is who is going to run jerusalem. i would say i wouldn't care but it is important to the country into which hands the capital falls.

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