Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Apparently U.S. President Harding made up this word - normalcy. Of course our current President makes up all kinds of goofy words.

Anyway, I guess that I have been busy the past couple of days - but mainly things have just been out of whack. Ulpan (Hebrew school) started on Monday. I am in kitah gimel - or 3rd grade! It's tough. The texts that we're reading are longer and more complex than those in my previous class. It takes a couple of readings to figure out what's going on sometimes. I'm glad to be back on a normal schedule. Schedules are good for me.

I've been in a funk about the stabbing at the Pride parade last week. There is a gathering tonight to reflect on the whole situation. I'll go and let you know how it was. In related news, the guy that was alleged to have been the attacker was charged today in court with three counts of attempted murder. You can read about it here.

OK... a day later. I went to the vigil/protest last night. There was a great turnout. There were so many police and security personnel. It was meaningful just to be there. March/protest chants can be so dumb. I kept thinking about other ways to protest without folks screaming - that just seems so inappropriate after people have been stabbed. For me a respectful, quiet, meaningful gathering would have been better. But I am not the boss. We really must stand up for the issue here. It's not just about gay rights. It's about a group of people being able to organize and share a message through a march without being stabbed. It's about democracy - freedom of assembly and speech - without fear.

There is a level of disorganization/lack of planning in Israeli culture that is SO FRUSTRATING to me sometimes. Lisa mentions it in this post. It impacts many aspects of Israeli life - from changing lanes while driving 100 km/hr, to deciding where and what to eat for dinner, to the disengagement, to making plans for big events. I am not sure what the roots of this phenomenon are. I am not even sure that it's a bad thing in general. But my god, for a country that has been through all of the problems that require planning that we've had here - well, you'd think that Israel would be better at it. There's a phrase in Hebrew - yee-hee-aa (long A) beseder - meaning "it will be ok". Sometimes things here AREN'T OK! It is so irresponsible not to be prepared for situations. I know that you can't plan for everything - but you can think through the process and determine possible outcomes - and make plans for problem solving. That way you won't be caught with your pants around your knees. Things can be better than just beseder.

When bad things happen it seems like there is a game of "not it" that really gets my goat. Take responsibility - plan, evaluate, consider outcomes, revise, be reflective. Don't just stand there looking stupid and pointing fingers.

Ok, that was my little rant for today.

I'm hoping things will begin to get back to normal - whatever that means - soon.


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