Tuesday July 15, 2014

Today my natural alarm clock didn’t wake me up and I slept til 8 am when my phone alarm went off! I jumped out of bed and hurriedly got ready, deciding that I wanted to get breakfast at a coffee shop rather than making it myself since I was in a hurry. I headed towards downtown and got a cappuccino and some small pastries from the English Cake cafe on King George street, and then I took it to a bench on Ben Yehuda and enjoyed some alone time and some people-watching.

Once I finished eating I walked to Hadassah Academic College for class where we had a four hour session of our Contemporary Israel through Literature and Arts class. We spent some time discussing a poem by Amichai, called “A Man in His Life.” It begins:

A man doesn’t have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn’t have seasons enough to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
was wrong about that.
A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and to cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.

This allusion to a passage in Ecclesiastes, a book in the Bible that I’ve read many times, caused us to read the poem in a different context: it’s not just a poem written by a man in modern day Israel, it’s an Israeli man reacting to an ancient text written by another Israelite man, both living in the same place but living in two different worlds–separated by time and the events of those years. This corresponds with a literary tradition used by many authors, including authors we’ve read for class, where the author draws your attention to a past belief or text and then disturbs your previous belief or knowledge in some way, causing you to think more about the topic and create deeper meaning. We talked about the concept of paradox, how literature can be the best way to process the contradictory aspects of life because it can incorporate the different feelings that a person or group of people can have all at the same time. One of the paradoxes I’ve felt while here is that while the air raid siren is going off I’ve still felt completely safe, trusting in the Iron Dome and in God’s protection. Speaking of which, please pray that Hamas will accept the ceasefire and this area will go back to its more peaceful state.

Today was extra special because the third hour of class was comprised of a field trip to Hadassah’s graduate student art exhibit. As our Northeastern professor told us when we returned, it’s always very cool to see student art because it’s always on the cusp of the future. I definitely saw this expressed through the incorporation of technology into the art.

This exhibit was made up of six different videos, each showing a part of the process of baking cupcakes, but shot from a very interesting angle... Two of my favorite things integrated: art and dessert!

This exhibit was made up of six different videos, each showing a part of the process of baking cupcakes, but shot from a very interesting angle… Two of my favorite things integrated: art and dessert!

One of my favorite exhibits was done by a woman who had lived in New York City for a while and loved watching musical performers in the subway, so she created an exhibit where different images in the room triggered videos of those places when viewed through an iPad or an app you could download to your smartphone. It was crazy to see the pictures come alive when viewed through the lens of technology.

Interactive art

Interactive art

After class some of us (Anna, Jaclyn, Maggie, Carlos, Anuphab, and I) went to an adorable restaurant in the Rehavia neighborhood called Fernando & Bella where we had light sandwiches (nice to have a break from hummus, delicious as it is) and spent time working on our journals/blogs.

The Fernando & Bella cafe

The Fernando & Bella cafe

And because I’m a #hashtagwhitegirl here’s an Instagram-style picture of my sandwich… (To those of my readers who are not of my generation and may not know what I’m talking about by saying “hashtag white girl”: please do not be offended by that joke)

I wish I had discovered this place sooner, it's really close to our apartments and it's really nice. I'm sure I'll be back!

Yumm! I wish I had discovered this place sooner, it’s really close to our apartments and it’s really nice. I’m sure I’ll be back!

Now I’m off to go find a shady bench to read a book on; I can’t let this gorgeous day go to waste by sitting inside a minute longer!

– Joy Davis


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