Monthly Archives: June 2001

on the bus back from Tel Aviv to netanya. This morning i left with my resume, portfolio and a sheet of paper torn from the phone book with my scribble of where my job interview was. harakevet 44. i wore my steel-toe combat boots which i realized too late was a mistake. My bag was too heavy and i soon realized that harakevet is not only the street i needed to get to but also how you say ‘railway station’. i had to take another bus to rehov (street) harakevet from harakevet (the railway station). i got way lost but seemed to walk in the door to broadway productions exactly at 10am. i met rachel who sent me to meet with ron, the producer. ron explained that there no productions going on and no budget for post assistants. He may need me as a p.a. for upcoming pilots but it felt unlikely. He told me it may be a good time to get into television and gave me 3 producers names and numbers.

on Friday night a bomb went off outside a tel aviv nightclub. 17 kids died. It happened at 11:30pm. tsafi came home from work around 9pm and i really wanted to go to Tel Aviv He was so tired and so we didn’t go. The next morning i was on aol instant messaging and a friend online told me what happened. He thought i already knew. He asked me why i live here. i told him. He asked if i am willing to die to be here and then he went off about the bomb that i didn’t know about. i woke tsafi up and told him and thanked him for being tired the night before.

At first i was just thankful that we didn’t go and that no one we knew was there and now i am just so sad. They were kids, 14, 15, 16 year old kids. even the suicide bomber was only 19…they were all just waiting on line to get into a club. The funeral is today. half my class is missing. Last week we learned a song called ‘the whole world’. translated, it says “the whole world is a very narrow bridge. And the main thing is not to fear at all” (by rabbi nachman from braslev)

today on the schedule was 12 noon Hebrew in song’ with ofer (the happy, too happy actually, musical guy) but it was canceled today. There is no singing today. Not even about hope. It’s going to get worse……….should i leave?

today in class we learn words like ‘leevcote’, to cry. We review what we learned yesterday about ‘danny goes to the doctor’ and we go around the room as the teacher asks if we feel well. “ani morgeesh lo tov” (i don’t feel well). everyone has sad eyes. What we see on the news is horrifying and hard to ignore. It’s in our backyard and our front yard. In the places we shop; the places we dance. Israelis are not dealing with intelligent people. these people, these primitive, hate-filled, child-brain-washed people cannot be understood. to go to a nightclub and kill children on the Sabbath is just so insane!

i move my seat alot in class. I’m trying to find a place that i learn better and a place where my elbows don’t fall onto someone else’s book. i found it on the other side of the room, near Liz On the break, the teacher said ‘what happened to you? you became a good student!’ and i wasn’t aware i was a bad student before so i didn’t react. sitting here i can see the corner where the Americans talk to each other trying to make sense of Hebrew by translating it literally from English Hebrew is a whole new system though. for example there’s word in English like…’sister’ and then the word ‘my’…in English you would say ‘my sister’, 2 separate words. But in Hebrew if you are saying my, his, yours, etc the two words join to form another word. sister is ‘achote’ and ‘my sister’ is ‘achoti’. that’s an easy example but what I’m trying to do is stop thinking in English grammar, try to forget how i automatically put sentences together. i can only do this concentrating. i do my homework outside alone; i sit where i can think.

This language is survival for living here and feeling a part of it all. It’s the ticket from tourist to feeling absorbed. In the other corner are the Russians who decide to talk in Russian and ignore eye contact with the teacher, the students, anyone that is interupted by their guttural fast talking. What a strange class…. now they are calling me sheryl crow.

observations so far about Israel

many Israelis like Spanish music and think salsa dancing is the sexiest art form ever. It’s such a different vibe from the Spanish influence in bodegas in NYC. on lag ba’omer there were couples dancing at a party that we could see from the bonfires near the sea. And right now our bus driver is rocking out to it. There are no “W” sounds in Hebrew just “V”…like Valtz instead of waltz. There is celsius on things like ovens, weather and washing machines. The right side of the road is like in the USA most Russians I’ve encountered smell really bad. There are specific products for the heat in Israel and they seem oblivious to it. deodorants and soaps and even hair conditioner with sunscreen made just for this heat.

you know how they say you SHOULD drink alot of water? well, in Israel it’s an absolute necessity! life threatening even! having found this out the hard way, i now drink at least a liter a day. i suffered two days with heat exhaustion which was basically a traveling migraine headache and when you’re at that point (i found out after the fact) you have to sip water and you’re not supposed to gulp it down like i did. Children carry around clear water bottles.

Israelis are obsessed with the hand symbol. Not only for practical purposes like stop signs but for spirituality as well. There are 5 fingers on the hamsa which are hung in the home to ward off the ‘evil eye’. hamsa come in many forms, mostly in the shape of a hand, as the number 5 (hamesh) is sacred in the kabbalah. Sometimes hamsa have an eye in the palm and have fish around it.