Tel Aviv Diary September 5-9, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary September 5-9, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 5, 2018

I thought i'd have no trouble publishing my little piece "Why I write in Yiddish," but it turns out editors are not very interested. nevertheless, it is good that i've began sending out stuff after such a long break. i've never stopped writing but i've been incredibly overwhelmed with administration. But I think i'm cutting down and now can go into politics...

So I read the novel by Bill Clinton and the other guy. Even though there were a few parts that I didn't like it was pretty amazing. And at the end he gives an address to congress that blew my mind away the way John McCain's funeral did. It is about values, principles, the things I grew up on that have disappeared from our society. i would so like to be able to participate in the rebuilding of values in Israeli society.

September 6, 2018

I love the schools in the center of the city. They're all make-shift because they were re-made for schools after years of having no children in Tel Aviv. Suddenly there were thousands of children about ten years ago and no schools. how they managed to get all these schools out of worn out buildings is amazing. And the children seem to thrive in them.

September 7, 2018

We met for lunch before the new year, 11 ladies of the same generations, to evaluate the past and to give each other direction for the coming year. It is, as usual, a henhouse, with all of us cackling at once but all of us urging each other to tell their stories. sometimes we are frustrated with each other, and we argue furiously about our different approaches to life, but all together it is always an amazing experience.

sometimes i think they all help me become a better person.

the covnersation shifted to a book one of the women had written about the Yom Kippur war, and while she was reading a very gripping chapter, my mind wandered to my own experiences of the war. That was when i realized, in the middle of a drama about someone else, that my own life had been forever changed by the war. From the first night when i heard tanks rolling down the highway on the eve of Yom Kippur, to the recruitment of all the men that silent afternoon, to the weeks and months after when I was the only person in the neighborhood with a driver's license and there was no milk or eggs to be had anywhere nearby, to the months after when i was trying to normalize the crazy semester with homework lessons delivered directly to the student-soldiers - the world had become destabilized for me, as for everyone who lived through that war. It never returned to its previous order.

September 8-9, 2018

Did you ever wonder why this diary is not publicized? why I don't turn this into a blog that is connected to some newspaper? Why I very rarely send poems to journals or publishers? I think it's because i write because i have to, but i only want people who want to read me to read me. I hate reading to critical audiences who look at me like 'what do i want from them?'

so here's my kvetch of the day. Ezi was supposed to have his last ritux IV tomorrow morning. But suddenly the hospital realized that it was the evening of the holiday and the nurses have to go home early except for emergencies. so they moved it to wednesday. it's a trifle, but i got a little twinge in my heart. so yesterday when the announcement was made that UNRA had been cancelled and Trump is stopping funding for Palestinian refugees, I felt that twinge ten times over. what cancer patient did not feel the terror of having treatments withdrawn, or even postponed, or even threatened with postponement?

Talking to my friends on the Lebanese border, i suddenly want the wall to be built. right now. and in the very place where the good fence once was. Watch that space

Shana Tova! May this be a better year for all of us - on all sides of the border.

The preparations to Rosh Hashana began with the best laid plans almost going awry. Last week I had ordered the kreplach, gefilte fish, chopped liver and the uncooked roast to be delivered this morning - but as late as possible, because Ezi was scheduled for the hospital. When the hospital cancelled I didn't think to check with the butcher, but anyway they called early in the morning while i was in gym class and anyway i forgot to turn my ringer back on after yesterday evening so anyway i missed their call so they didn't deliver the stuff. And by the time i discovered they had called, they were too busy to answer, and the guy who makes the deliveries went home. So we drove there. unfortunately there was a problem finding our order. so it took a very long time before we were home and cooking the roast. It was done just on time. The kreplach, however, were craplach and dissolved in the chicken soup.

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