Tel Aviv Diary - September 19-23, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary- September 19-23, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 19, 2019

So the day passed and i haven't worked out exactly how to get on line without a lot of boujeras. everywhere i go people ask me about the elections and i have no way of knowing. i finally found the channels on my phone, but they don't know anything either. still it looks good to me. still it looks like we're working on making a new organization.

September 22, 2019

Yes, what happens in Israel is important to the fate of Jews of the world. That's why I got a dozen letters after a reading the other night. Even though they came from many different directions, they all were essential. A Jewish group supporting the BDS wanted me to know about Doreen Tatou, another few people were interested in my yiddish leanings. A third group wanted to know about the elections.

But now I'm off duty for a day. time to relax. i think i may have made a nasty remark in the long line in the ladies room in the theater. suddenly everyone stopped talking. they had been saying about how farklempt and crying they all were at "Fiddler on the Roof" and i turned around and said "really professional! But haven't you seen it before?" i didn't mean to rain on their parades but i've seen the play in English, and Hebrew,, seen the original Yiddish film and the later one, and in the Yiddish version it suddenly became clear to me. Yes, the issue of our history of expulsion is moving, and the loss of the communal tradition, and the familial separations that develop as a result of the loss of the tradition. But hell, most of the people who left were tortured, raped, and defamed in so many other ways as well, that the musical seems almost pap. I think the Yiddish was my first problem. Tradition, the first song, was my first problem. The Yiddish word for tradition is masora but it's americanized here to 'tradizia'. i get it - it wins the hearts of the audience from the first moment.

But look at the 1939 film:

it tells a different story. Better yet, read the book - it's really heartbreaking.


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