Monday, May 14, 2018


Yesterday was Yom Yerushalayim, celebrating 51 years since the recapture of the Old City from the hands of the Jordanians.  This is a monumental event in Jewish history, as for over 2000 years before this we were unable to visit or pray at the site of our holy Temple.  Truly a miracle.  We watched videos of the soldiers lobbing hand grenades to enter the Old City, going through the gates that we now happily traipse through like we're going into Jewish Disney World.....Truly a miracle.

Today the US Embassy will be moved to Jerusalem.  Doesn't count as a miracle in my book, but certainly nice to see recognition of the fact that Jerusalem is Israel's capital.  If you'd like some helpful "talking points" about this subject, see this post by America Jewish Congress president David Harris.  It's good.

Things are hot on the Gaza border and up North.  In a few days our Arab cousins will be in mourning for Naqba day, the English date of establishment of the state of Israel (Israel celebrates on the Hebrew date, hence the lack of overlap).  And a few days after that Ramadan starts, which may also lead to an increase in hostilities (or may not.  I'm hoping people are too hungry from fasting from sunup to sundown to cause trouble).  So it's an intense time here.....

But I, who have, for almost three years, steered pretty steadily away from politics, am not writing today to discuss any of that in-depth.  I'm here to talk with you about Eurovision, which I'm guessing that many of you have never heard of.  Eurovision is a singing competition with over 60 countries competing this year.  Why countries like Australia and Israel compete in something with "Euro" in the title is something I can't explain to you or myself, but that's how it is, folks.  Israel won in 1978 and 1979 (our teacher played one of the songs in ulpan and I started humming along.  Had definitely heard that catchy "Hallelukah" tune when I was a kid) and then not until 1998.  And then Saturday night, when a zaftig 25 year-old woman who is clearly SO comfortable in her own skin sang a feminist theme of "I'm not your toy" while making chicken-flapping motions and moving her uber-elastic face in ways that are definitely unusual for pop singers. 

 Is this a big deal?  I'd say that depends.  It wasn't even mentioned on the religious radio station I listen to.  Penina, however, woke up to 630 Whatsapp messages on her class group.  And the secular newspaper noted that half the country was exhausted at work yesterday from staying up until 2 a.m. for the final results.  This IS a big deal for Israel because the winning country gets to host the competition the next year, and I'm convinced the best way for Israel to have better PR is to have people come visit this incredible country.

Netta's favorite expression is "Kapara Alayich" which in current Israeli slang means "you're a sweetheart" or "We love you".  Frankly, I don't get it, as kapara means "atonement" and my association with the word is about chickens swung over heads before Yom Kippur  .  Maybe that's why Netta put the chicken flapping motions in?  I don't know....So when Netanyahu sent a tweet to/about Netta before the competition, he used this phrase.  Those who get his tweets auto-translated to English read "Netta, you're a cow" (for those who know Hebrew, get it?  k'parah).  Oopsie.  And this one was sent out after she won (clearly no one on his staff gets these things in the translated version):

Double oopsie, but way to go, Netta!

No comments:

Post a Comment