I consider myself reasonably well educated, with elementary school, high school, under-graduate school, and grad school under my belt. I do read quite a bit – books, newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs. But I have never opened a Talmud book. That is until yesterday…
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
When I watched political debates in the US, I couldn't help being impressed. The participants (mostly) played by the rules: when one party spoke, the other listened; arguments made by one side, were carefully countered by the other. Not so in a typical “Israeli debate”: participants tend to speak over each other, there is very little listening, and the whole thing often turns into a “shouting match”. But before you shake your head in frustration, know that I have seen the future - and there is hope!
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Today I traveled to Tel Aviv on a public bus. “You rode on a bus???” you must be asking, “are you CRAZY?!” The answers are “yes”, and “no”. I did ride on a bus, and I am not crazy. True, most of the times I travel to Tel Aviv I use my own car. But the process has become quite unbearable, especially if I need to get somewhere during “rush hour”, which seems to be any time between 7:00am and 8:00pm. So rather than battle with other drivers on the road, hunt desperately for parking, and pay for expensive gasoline, I decided to take a bus.
Monday, October 7, 2013
I just finished taking a class called “Selected problems in Ethics”. It was my third class in philosophy, and I am finally starting to get the hang of it. Frankly, after spending most of my earlier life studying topics such as computer engineering, finance and marketing, my brain synapses evolved in a very specific way. I used to regard philosophy as a pointless rambling, but I am beginning to realize it actually tackles some of our most existential questions. I actually find it quite relevant to daily existence here in the Middle East.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
This is a special memorial week: it marks the 40th anniversary of Israel’s Yom Kippur War and the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack in the USA. These are major events that shaped the mindset and future of Israelis and Americans. I have lived through both events, and the impact has been profound.
Monday, August 5, 2013
A couple of weeks ago we joined our friends on a tour of Jerusalem. The tour guide took us to see buildings that were built by the “European powers” during the 19th-20th centuries. The Germans, the Italians, the French, the Russians and other nations rushed to purchase land in the holy city and build a church, a hospital, a school or a monument. Each nation wanted to own its own piece of heaven.
Monday, July 15, 2013
I used to love watching modern dance performances. I saw most, if not all of Ohad Naharin earlier work, and there were hardly any new productions by the Bat Sheva Dance Company that I missed. Visiting the Susan Dellal center for modern dance in Tel Aviv was a treat. And the bonus was the opportunity to stroll through the beautiful nearby Neve Tzedek neighborhood. But that was then.