- Dedicated to my beloved friend, the late Shalom Zamirin, one of the pillars of the local press in Haifa. Since his passing, nine cabins of wisdom and wit have been taken from the world.
It was homely
On Tuesday, 9/20/22, exactly one month after my birthday, the bulldozers came upon the house where I lived for a quarter of a century on Zichron Ya’akov Street in Tel Aviv. For a whole night I was troubled by the issue of whether to go and see the “demolition event” I was invited to, or to ignore it and continue my routine. On the one hand, it was clear to me that it would cause me an emotional upheaval and why I needed it, and on the other hand, I believed that just watching the demolition would be an irreversible closing chord to a long and significant chapter in my life and would help me deal, finally, with the reality that I preferred to repress. After a night of canning I decided to wallow in masochism and go watch the demolition.
Arriving in Tel Aviv is like coming home, there is always a bubbling of joy in the stomach, whether you are returning to it from Rome or whether you are returning to it from Haifa. Already when I left the “Savidor Merkaz” train station and saw the skyline adorned with towers and cranes – my heart expanded. The traffic jams, the endless snakes of lights in Ayalon in the evening, the noise and commotion, the people running from all sides – all these convey a sense of power that does not exist in other cities. Tel Aviv changes its face every day, I haven’t visited it in a month and it already looks different. Here they destroyed, there they planted, and in between they also dug, blocked and fenced. Noise and commotion and scooter riders and bicycles from all sides, people hurrying, and crowded buses. And yet – the magnetizing, almost mystical power of this city – holds you and prevents you from letting go. It is true that it changes its face, it is true that it is dense, it is true that it is congested and dug up and blocked and terribly expensive, and despite all its faults, “Nevertheless, there is something about her, she has some kind of grace” As Alterman wrote nearly eighty years ago. Tel Aviv is based on enlightenment, humanism, liberality, openness, tolerance and acceptance of the other – sublime ideas that I wish could be applied throughout our tiny country.
For twenty-five years I lived in apartment No. 11 on 5 Zichron Ya’akov Street. Third and last floor with access to the roof above. I would watch the sunset and sip a drink, on which I would host my family for Shabbat meals when the weather permitted. The silent walls of the house have become a part of me over the years, they have witnessed joys and sadness, laughter and tears, and here, in the life of a bulldozer, they have become a pile of ruins that will also be cleared away with ease, just as they cleared the old tree stumps in the yard and my heart misses them. I guess many of the readers are frowning and wondering what exactly is he complaining about? What is there to whine so much? And to them, I will answer with another quote from Alterman, from a poem he wrote in 1941:
My love, what to shout and call,
The disadvantages of Tel Aviv are like a sea.
But the heart will sing his name and remember him,
Missing it all the same
Additional articles in Haifa – Haifa News:
And I add: how terrible it is to miss something that no longer exists.
Listening and viewing recommendations
In Haifa I don’t have much to go out, even my social life, which from the beginning did not compete with the social life of Bar Refaeli, even this little has reduced miraculously. And therefore I take full advantage of my subscriptions to Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, and even Disney Plus, a fact that allows me to share with the public every time a shining needle in the haystack is discovered. so lets start:
Did you like “The Three Tenors”? Do you like Italian schmaltz? Do you occasionally listen to Andrea Bocelli? Have you passed the age of forty? Do yourself a big favor and run to Spotify or YouTube and look for the THE FLIGHT The composition of three young Italians with heavenly voices that will send a vibration even in the heart of the greatest cynics. A real pleasure.
If we are talking about pleasures, get a warm recommendation for a series called “Only murderers in the building” broadcast on Amazon Prime. It stars Steve Martin, Martin Shore (you know the types who are funny without meaning to? It’s Martin Shore) and Selena Gomez and occasionally guest stars like the revered Shirley MacLaine and even Sting… Perfect acting by all participants and witty and clever dialogues make this series an escapist candy for all souls busy
The heroes of the keyboard – who will understand your soul?
In a letter to an acquaintance who accused him of giving emphasis to the less hearty aspects of life – therefore making him many rivals – Emil Zola (yes, the same one from “I blame”) replied with these words:
“Did you know, my friend, that in the parlors of ugly people there are few mirrors hanging on the walls? And why should the owner of the house, who is not blessed with a particularly well-groomed appearance, look at her image unnecessarily? She is aware of her ugliness and does not wish to be reminded of this fact. Your faithful friend, places a mirror in front of the company , and many do not like the portrait reflected in it, and blame the person holding the mirror for their ugliness“
The reason I enlisted Emil Zola for my help is the unfortunate fact that there is a tiny minority of the readers of this column who pour Ruthin’s coats over my head week after week, without clarifying the words, without referring to the content: Did I place a mirror in front of bumpy roads? Immediately the heroes of the keyboard – who hide well behind email addresses that they change every week – inform me that I am a mindless prattle and I would do well to pack my things and return to Tel Aviv without delay. I wrote about a quarter of a word about climate change, the hero of the keyboard rushed and sent an angry and angry response in which he calls me a Tel Avivian buffoon. The peak was when I blessed the Haifai coexistence – and in the blink of an eye I became a delusional leftist.
And of all those anonymous cathargers, I would like to ask: you really dislike my column and yet read it avidly every week, are always quick to respond and always lash out at me with fury. Who is wise and knows how to explain this strange phenomenon? After you realized that I’m a “delusional Tel Aviv leftist” (a nickname you stuck on me and I’m considering adding it to my signature) why do you continue to read Tori the humble column? You are invited, with all due respect, of course, to move on: the media is full of articles and columns that will please you much more than the grievances of the delusional and occasionally grumpy Tel Aviv leftist.
Do you prefer the thunder of the drums to the subdued playing of the piano? You’re welcome, just stop coming to piano recitals and complaining that you can’t hear the darbukas. And the opposite is also true: stop coming to a Darbukot show and complaining that you can’t hear the harpsichord….