Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Human Face Of A Conflict: Selim Selim

A couple of years ago in London, I saw the play  #aiww The Arrest of Ai Weiweiby, by Howard Brenton, at the Hampstead Theatre.
The play is about the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who was arrested by the Chinese authorities at Beijing airport on April 3rd, 2011 as he was about to board a flight to Taipei. Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in detention without trial. He was accused of being a subversive, a conman and a pervert, who “could damage state security.”
Edward Hall the artistic director of Hampstead Theatre explains his choice of this special topic in the program notes: ”We had been looking for a play about China since starting in Hampstead and knew that it was a subject that Howard Brenton was keen to explore. The rise of China is clearly one of the most important developments of modern times but it has hardly been discussed.”
The arrest and the disappearance, without trial, of the artist reveals a lot about  oppression in China today, and potentially could have brought about an exciting and critical play about its development. 
Please keep reading in the Times of Israel

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brave Middle-Aged Widow: The Book Of Ruth

A while ago, when I paid a Shiva call to a friend who lost her husband, she said: “in addition to the personal pain, as a widow, my social position will be adversely affected.” I was quite surprised since I had never thought about it in this way. But she was right: Once a woman becomes a widow she loses much more than her husband:
As the hierarchy within the family shifts, her position often weakens. Moreover, as my friend observed, the new circumstances could affect the widow's public status, especially if she is left with limited resources. The widow’s fall from grace is particularly harsh since it happens through no fault of her own.
Please keep reading in the Times of Israel

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Coal Stove In Auschwitz and Other Monuments

On the last evening of the Na’amat journey to Poland, our group of 32 women was standing next to the Warsaw Uprising Monument, in memory of the Polish rebellion against the Nazis.  Suddenly one of the friends asked me how I felt about this monument.
I didn’t know exactly what to say, but after spending five days in Poland visiting places like Majdanek, the Kielce cemetery, and Auschwitz-Birkenau, I had no more room for yet another monument, this one seemed like many others.
One of the reasons why I wanted to go to Poland at this time was to try and bring the Holocaust closer to my heart and to personalize its immensity. As a child I felt connection to the Holocaust on a personal level through childhood heroines like Anne Frank.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bring Back Mother's Day

Growing up in Haifa in In the early 1960s, Mother’s Day was celebrated in Hanukah. Our' was the only city which made the sensible connection between the holiday of light and life, and motherhood.
Then, unfortunately, the only day dedicated to honor our mothers, was taken away and replaced by the politically correct “Family Day.” It is not  the same.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Blood, Toil, Tears, And Sweat? No, Just Luck

Several months after the Likud party had won the historic election in 1977, we left Israel. A year later, upon our return to Tel Aviv, we didn’t recognize the place: inflation was rampant and the whole life centered around it.
We needed to find an apartment to rent but prices were high and were set in dollars. When we finally found an affordable place, each month we paid a little more than the previous month. Once, in the middle of the year, when the dollar had reached yet another height, we had to beg our land lady, not to raise the rent yet again. That land lady, a girl in her mid twenties, just like us, sympathized with our plight and agreed.
Those few young people who inherited apartments, like our land lady, were especially lucky. Pleas keep reading int the Times Of Israel

Saturday, May 2, 2015

"We Do Not Know What A Jew Is. We Only Know Men"

Once you leave the reception area in Yad Vashem and start walking toward the dreaded unknown, you first encounter several small trees. Those are the threes in honor of the Righteous Among The Nations.
In my youth there was no doubt in my mind that had I lived in the time of the Holocaust I would have been one of the few brave women and men who had risked their lives to hide Jews. But once I had children of my own this certainty had started to dissipate. It was a disturbing feeling, still I knew that the responsibility of a family and having too much to lose would have prevented me from doing the right and human thing.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel