Tuesday, December 26, 2006

this place, where I live.

Underpinning Israeli culture is Hebrew as a modern language for daily thinking and functioning and for accessing a rich Jewish heritage. The modern Israeli culture favors change, espouses the Protestant ethics, and values education and exposure to mass media. Its values also include informal interpersonal relations, bad manners, agressiveness, disrespect of privacy, and the view of law as a bending and negotiable norm. Israeli culture is familistic, nationalistic, and materialistic. Although formed by Ashkenazim, this culture is a new product that does not resemble Ashkenazi or Mizrahi cultures of the Diaspora. Neither is it Western despite its Western orientation and pretension to be Western.1

(my thoughts to be added, but please share yours!)

1Smooha, Sammy. "Jewish Ethnicity in Israel: Symbolic or Real?" in Jews in Israel, Uzi Rebhun and Chaim I Waxman, Editors. Hanover: Brandeis University Press.

Monday, December 11, 2006

sunday, bloody sunday.

In the mood for a good book, my bed, and a cup of tea.

alas, finals week approaches.

Monday, December 04, 2006

there she goes, just a walking down the street.


read a text/learned new vocabulary about a single mother who disappeared and her child, who was adopted and is now a woman, is seeking to find out about her family history. sat in a circle and received a petek (note) describing our role, from which we make up a story about our character.
my note: I was romantically involved with ruth (the mum) in 1945.
my story: I was ruth's math teacher in high school. I was in love with her so so much. I couldn't do anything when she was a student, but when she graduated, we really feel in love and lived together for a year in a hamlet in southern germany.

Interview with MASA Ombudsman-
us: these questions are pretty irrelevant to our experience at Hebrew U.
ombudswoman: tell me more.
us: MASA is super disorganized and you should work on that.
ombudswoman: this is unimportant.

Yoel*, later: this is so stupid!

The Emergence of the Modern Middle East-
Dr Nisan: Saddam Hussein has a predilection towards violence. He loves violence. He loves wars. Or he did, until just recently.

The Bible and English Literature-
discussion on the Song of Songs.
to ponder: who wrote it? what is it about? why is it included in the Hebrew canon?
it's pretty beautiful. good ol' king j.
the song of songs- so sensual, physical, detailed- describes the ultimate combination of man's physicality and spirituality. it is man at his essence. the epitome of life.

I like this idea. I mean, I thought of it, but maybe other people would like to think on it as well.

The Walk Home-
the sun was setting. I was wearing a pashmera scarf I bought in the muslim quarter a month ago, my mary jane crocs, and other unimportant clothing. these facts are not so relevant, but I do like these two pieces (nb: future reference). it was cold outside. I walked home with my hands in my pockets.
sometimes I don't use the washroom when I finish class and I am walking home because then I have to walk home much quicker. I told Tamara this and she laughed at me. so I didn't use the washroom today and I really needed to. (thanks for caring, loves.)
there is a huge line of traffic leaving the university at this time of day, and there is only one road to the center of town/huge highway, which is also the road I walk on to get back home. traffic is basically stopped or moving uber slowly, so I feel that I walk home additionally fast on these days because I am passing so many cars. (could it be that I just like competition and walking home fast? perhaps.)
I was walking on the back-new-road behind the new dorms. it is a pretty dusty road with lots of inconvenient patches of sandiness and stones strewn around, which is especially inconvenient (an inconvenient truth?) if one is wearing crocs. the man (ie, the powers that be) has placed a guard booth halfway-up the road for no apparent reason- there is no traffic, nor is that entrance open. regardless, there stands a blue and yellow guard booth. standing at the guard booth is a group of about three arab construction workers. (they don't seem to be doing much work.)
so, there I was, just walking down the street, with my brown mary janes and blue north face back pack, and the three arab construction workers say "erev tov" (good evening).
maybe they want to start a conversation?
I say erev tov in return.
they say something else, but then I realize that I am not in the mood for a conversation with three arab construction workers who aren't doing any work at the blue and yellow guard booth, and continue on my way.

this was not the end of the day,
but it is the end of the account of the day.

*Yoel Nesson, director of undergraduate studies at rothberg. (oh let me count the ways)