Joint voices

WELCOME! Looking for some intelligent dialog between nationalities - a place for anyone and everyone to speak their mind, and listen to other minds, and maybe some difference, no matter how small, will be made. Welcoming more contributors! the more the better!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

keeping up the spirit

Another excellent spot of sanity: http://www.mideastyouth.com.

Ramdan Kareem (finally I know the correct greeting..)

Rosh Hashana brings us all together!

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/newyear.asp

and a happy new year

Gee it seems like such a long time ago, when I last mentioned a Jewish holiday on here....

Well tonight is Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the Jewish new year. I've just gotten back from the family holiday dinner at my aunt and uncle's, up north (I'm stuffed..).
Like I may have said before, I'm not really religious (more of an agnostic), but certain holidays I celebrate out of tradition, not religion. Rosh Hashana is one of those, and the whole country practically shuts down on the holiday's eve. The one holiday tradition everyone seems to keep is new year's wishes to everyone, and new year's vows. This year everyone is wishing and vowing for a quiet year, or as one friend wished: "a boring year for everyone". Personally, I think my biggest vow for the year is to stop being so cynical and learn to reach out more - and that if I want change, I have to act on it myself - new exciting things wont just land in my lap, I have to make them happen.

So I'll start my shun of cynicism now, with some new year's wishes to all of us, to all of you out there wherever you are: Happy Rosh Hashana, may you have a happy, fruitful, gratifying year. May we have a year of rebuilding, replenishment and fulfillment. May we all make change happen. May it be a year full of excitment - but personal, not national and/or global :)

To all the Muslim folks - tomorrow is the beginning of Ramadan, so may you all have an easy fast (well that's what we wish on the Yom Kippur fast here...) and a fruitful month of contemplation and introspect.

May we all be blessed with peace and peacefullness. May we strengthen our friendships and bridge gaps. May we all keep listening.

Shana Tova!

(c) lilu 2005

* pomegranate /`pomi,granet/ n (an Old World tree that bears) a several-celled reddish berry that is about the size of an orange with a thick leathery skin and many seeds with pulpy crimson arils of tart flavor. It is a Jewish symbol and is eaten on Rosh Hashana 'so that our good deeds will be plentiful like the seeds of the pomegranate'

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pop goes the bubble

Ok, I know, so I've disappeared for a while... feels like I owe an explanation so here goes.

There is a common Israeli nickname to this city, Tel Aviv - the Bubble. Perhaps I've mentioned it before. It implies that Tel Aviv is a bubble city of fantasy, closed off to the troubles of the real world that plague the rest of this nation. Here in Tel Aviv, Israelis snicker that life is made up of sidewalk cafes, beaches, shopping, clubbing, pick up bars... an average day's worries revolve around which new restaurant we should check out for lunch and will I go for a Guinness or a Fidge Sour tonight at the pub? burning social issues consist of the mayor's harrassments of a trendy underground club's volume of music and the increase of taxes for yoga studios. Bubble Land.

I've recently marked 11 monthes of living in the city, of being Tel Avivian. It seems like the right time to get retrospective.

Summer 2006 has shown how much I bought into the bubble way of life. I really dove into it. 10 out of 11 months here, I led a pretty happy-go-lucky life. I got disconnected from TV and cable, got a subscription to the theatre and the local trendy alternative DVD library. Concentrated on art, on school, on exploring the inner workings of my psyche. I think I really convinced myself this could be life - this IS life. So did all of the people around me. It was good. We had fun.

But it is our fate to be dragged back to reality everytime. Summer 2006 woke me up again. The dangers are out there and out there is not that far away, no use burying my head in the sand.. so I did quite the opposite, letting it all take control over my day and my life, anything else became a byline. I saw my personal strength in communication, and blogging became the highlight of the day.

When the war came to a (temporary?) halt, I kept it up for while, until I felt it was beginning to cost me some of my sanity - that was a few weeks ago. I just couldn't keep up with all the arguing, I felt I was going slightly mad..

So I took a break. Tried going back to life's little pleasures - food, drink, sun. Concentrating on everyday things like job hunting and culture, putting behind me the feeling that missiles are going to rain down on me any minute.. returning to small troubles like mice in the kitchen and lack of air conditioning during a heatwave. Tried to forget there are wars. Dove back into the bubble for a bit.

But I couldn't keep it up this time, I guess. I think the bubble's burst for good, for me. The feelings started creeping back into my mind, the sense that somewhere out there war is stil brewing, wrongs are yet to be corrected, and my small contribution is still needed...
I'll say this much. I'm not sure the next war outbreak is avoidable in any way. I get the sense that no matter what I say, some people will continue to ignore some dangers, and that's just the way it has to be and how the situation will continue to play out. What needs to happen will happen, I sense a big war is yet to come in the near future, and its just fate. It will happen. Accepting it makes me much calmer day to day. I wont pretend I live in la la land, I'll do my small bit and speak my mind, I think that's all I can do. Without a threat to my emotional health, without being too fatalistic and causing myself ulcers, just try to keep speaking, try to focus on the more positive aspects.. there is no use pretending we are unaffected by the bad, it will always find a way to remind us of its existence. No point in ignoring things. Just to learn to live with them.

So I wont post as much and probably wont comment on other blogs as much, if at all. I'll try put my focus on the internal ramifications of the war, that are unfolding these very days..

One last thing I do feel like saying though - the other thing I've noticed about the past 11 months, is that despite the false bubble dimension of the city, it has also become my only true home. The city has become an inseperable part of me and I've become an inseperable part of it. This is home.