Tel Aviv Diary September 8-13, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - September 8-13, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 8, 2016

it is 7 p.m. and I'm dead. I have deadlines coming up this weekend, maybe root canal tomorrow, girlfriends, family friends, etc, but today has to be overcome. It began with our cleaner appearing early in the morning together with four guys putting the final touches on the window, then shopping, a parting massage with Yoel, who is about to have a knee operation, a gym class and then a trip to Tel Aviv to pick up one grandchild after another, then come home and feed them, and then keep them busy until this moment. Ezi is now babysitting the other set of grandchildren because the mothers of both sets are at teachers' meetings. The really good thing about this day is that I was really impressed with the kindergarten and the school in the 'inner city.' the atmosphere was impressive. Children relaxed and communicating with each other even at this stage of the year.

September 9, 2016

Busy day busy day. Once again what looked to the dentist like a little hole is now root canal, implants, etc. To distract myself and the dentist I asked her if she knows the 10 commandments, She actually did, but she didn't remember the order. I was thinking about it because Ezi and I had a conversation about it before. It started out with my asking him what defines him as a Jew and his answering (to keep me off his case) "The Ten Commandments." That doesn't define a Jew! and then I read them again to prove it, and it is clear that the 6 late commandments make absolute sense only if you agree to the first 3 - that God makes the rules and you don't fool around with Him. then on the fourth He tells you how you have to keep him in mind when you order your week and save a day for Him that will do you good. Then the commandments moves down the chain of command to family, then others, etc. No murder comes after honoring parents. The last one, about coveting doesn't refer to actual harm but a feeling that will do harm to you, I think.

Anyway it got me through the dental agonies by putting my own suffering in the hierarchy of things. So its not like God watches over you and all that, but that you fit into a place, and so does everything in your life, if you accept the order. It's like what my Rebbe said when I asked him what if I'm doing all this studying Bible and there is no God. "Whether or not there is a God, a Jew has to study Torah."

September 11, 2016

We got picked for a government survey - somebody is going to knock on our door and ask us questions about our life. i got very huffy about it when Ezi read me the letter. What if I don't want to answer questions? We HAVE to. Or pay a big fine.

As if we had time. How do people breathe when they're retired? we're way behind in everything but neatness. And I'm scared to watch the news. thank goodness i can turn off Trump and Netanyahu for a little while.

For a break I've been looking at some of the closets full of photographs of old performances. There are a lot. Some I've never seen. Some i don't want to see. For example - I discovered I haven't been happy with my hair for 30 years at least. I put a few on facebook.

The good news is that Moran Samuel won a bronze medal today for rowing in the parolympics in Rio. We at the Daniel Rowing Center are thrilled.

September 11 has always been a hard time since 2001. My article on it.

September 12, 2016

We drove past the collapsed parking garage today. I wanted to go to my butcher, but the road was closed for a few days. Now, as we passed, I couldn't help wondering how small the space where 7 men died only a few days ago. and how the traffic was moving all around, a little more confused than usual, but moving. The tragedy of this - the sinful tragedy of carelessness and greed.

The financial advisor made a point noting how strong our economy is, and how stable the shekel. of course he wants us to invest with him, but he slipped and noted that the effect is psychological. if you believe in it, it works.

what would Herzl think?

Got stood up tonight. So I thought I'd try sending some poems for publication to a journal. I never do this, so I asked Ezi what poems of mine he remembers, and he - cornered - begins to list poems of thirty years or more. OMG, have I written nothing memorable since? And now I looked over some of my recent poems and ... hmm ... they aren't so memorable.

September 13, 2016

My father had his first stroke when he was 68. He recovered pretty much but hemorrhaged a few years later and hung on after the bleeding was surgically halted for a year as a conscious vegetable. When I heard about Shimon Peres' condition tonight I stopped breathing. There are no miracles to be hoped for here, but I pray for an easy release.

I cannot stop thinking about the family, who will be forced to chose, as I did, whether to keep him alive in the hope the damage can be somewhat reversed or to let him go. Prayers to Shimon Peres, to Tsiki, to Rafi, to Chemi, that the situation clears up soon, and no decisions will have to be made. that, like in Kings 2, 11, he will be disappear in a chariot of fire to heaven.

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