lady painting

 

Oct 2006 Journal

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Letter from Israel

About twenty years ago my family lived for a year in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. The area of the Great Plains is renowned for its wheat fields and flat topography. What we were not told in advance is that the climate is catastrophic, with blazing, humid summers and arctic winters. The experience gave us a new appreciation of Israel's climate. Even Tel Aviv seemed an attractive proposition to us Jerusalemites.

There is a traditional rivalry between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is bigger, it has the sea, it is not dogged by religious restrictions. The population of Tel Aviv believes itself to be freer and more open-minded than that of Jerusalem. All this may be true, but no one disputes the fact that in summer Jerusalem's climate, with its mountain air and cool evenings, is far superior.

For various reasons, I was obliged to spend a weekend in Tel Aviv in mid-May this year. The view from our hotel room was of the sea in all its glory, with the yacht marina on one side and the picturesque old houses of Jaffa on the other. Below us stretched the promenade, with its patterned surface and endless procession of people walking, biking or rollerblading, some scantily dressed, others more modestly clad, all enjoying the balmy spring days and evenings.

On Shabbat morning music wafted up to our window. I peered down and saw people dancing on the promenade. The dances were new, but the songs were old, just like the ones I used to sing and dance to in the youth movement to which I once belonged. I quickly got dressed and went down to have a look. Before too long I was drawn into the circle, and stumbled along with the rest of the dancers. I may not have been the best dancer there, but I was certainly the happiest.
Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

previous article:Art Notes (review)
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