Sunday, June 28, 2015

Two Lovely Misses: Together For Over Forty Years

My daughter's cello teacher was a tall woman with white hair and a kind smile. At the time when we met her she was in her early 70s, retired, and did not teach on a regular basis anymore. Still since we were in town only for a year she agreed to teach my four year old daughter. But she had one condition: I had to take cello lessons as well.
Her reason was that in order to appreciate what it meant for a young child to master the cello, and to help her practice, I had to learn it myself.
That teacher had a great reputation and I really wanted her to  teach my daughter, so I agreed. Besides, her explanation made sense since, in the Suzuki method for teaching young children music, the parent has to practice everyday at home with the child.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Dangers Of Art And Ideas: Between Mike Leigh And Miri Regev

At the end of a gallery talk at Yale about his latest film Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh said: “The audience is a collection of people who are at least as intelligent as me.” He added that it didn’t matter how much the audience knew in terms of general knowledge of the subject, what mattered was that he assumed nothing and conveyed his message in a clear way.
Mike Leigh said those things to a full house of especially intelligent listeners, most of whom knew Turner’s work well. His lecture was  part of the annual Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven.
Mike Leigh is right : previous knowledge of art is not a prerequisite for enjoyment as long as the message is clear. Mr Turner is an important and enjoyable film for viewers who know Turner’s work well, and also for those who were introduced to him for the first time.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father’s Day and the fifth commandment

I never knew that we had a Father’s Day in Israel, but according to Wikipedia “In Israel, Father's day is called "Yom ha-av" and is usually celebrated on May 1 together with Workers' Day or labour Day.” This is another proof that Wikipedia could not be trusted for reliable information. The truth is that in Israel we don’t have Father’s Day, or Mother’s Day, only the most parve Family Day.
In the US, Father and Mother’s Day are celebrated on Sunday, so that families could have an opportunity to enjoy that time on their day off. Today, the third Sunday in June, is Father’s Day.
While honoring parents one day a year is quite simple and could even be enjoyable, it is much harder the other 363 days of the year. Here is an essay that I wrote some time ago about the special difficulties with the fifth commandment.
Please keep reading in the Times of Israel

Friday, June 19, 2015

"Price Tag" And Some Left Wing Blunders

About two year ago,  when the name “Price Tag” started to become a house-hold name, I came across an announcement that Peace Now was organizing  bus tours to the occupied territories. The purpose of those excursions was to educate the public about the effects of this new brand of Israeli terrorism.
Immediately I signed up, I had to see for myself the other side, to check what the map looked like in reality, and to hear more about those disturbing activities. Like many Israelis, I have never even been to Ariel, (the only Israeli city across the green line) and it is only 30 minutes drive from Tel Aviv.
The tour's destination was the area which was hit most by settlers’ terrorism. We visited the Palestinian village of Kousra where, at that time, ten settlers from a nearby settlement were caught after they had come to vandalize the village
Then we drove up to the next hill to see the place where the settlers came from.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Not every death is the end of a well lived life"

At the hospital where my husband was being treated for cancer, Chemotherapy was administered in a communal room.There were several armchairs for patients, and some regular chairs for family members. The whole process took several hours, and we had to somehow pass the time. So, with everyone around,  it became an opportunity to talk, a kind of spontaneous support group.
One Friday we were only four in the room: my husband and I, another middle-aged man, like us, and a young woman. We started talking, and she told us about her life and her illness. It transpired that she recently had got married and had a small baby.
Suddenly the man, who sat with us, blurted, “ It is so unfair that you are sick, you are so young, and have a baby."
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mother Of The Year Award

When my girls grew up I decided it was finally my time  to go back to school and get a PhD. I was ready and excited, and was certain that the outside world was as excited to have me back.
Once  I started the program I came across an announcement about a special scholarship for women. In my naiveté I believed that it had my name written all over it. After all who wouldn't appreciate the determination of a mother who decides to go back to school after a long break? The answer is that no one did. There were no scholarships or any other type of awards for someone like me.
Shortly after I finished my PhD, I gave a paper at an international conference abroad. I got to talk to one of the other Israeli participants, a university professor. 
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel