Why does the free-thinker Amir E. Aharoni fast on Tish’a B’Av?

  1. It’s cynical, i know — but it’s healthy.
  2. It’s an excellent willpower exercise. I proudly stood the test.
  3. Because i am a free-thinker. I am a free-thinker because i think like myself and not like other “free-thinkers” that scoff the Haredim for ignoring the Holocaust Day 10:00 siren, but ignore Tish’a B’Av. Before there was the tragedy of Holocaust, there was the tragedy of the destruction of the Temples. It wasn’t just a desecration of a holy site — people were killed there. It was not only a destruction of some Temple, it was a destruction of a nation. So i observe both days. Call it “providing a good example.”

At 19:00 before the fast began i ate wonderful Pam-Pam’s Hummus with Mushrooms, drank a lot of water and didn’t eat or drink anything until 20:00 the next day. Unlike some of my freunds (wink wink) i worked regularly and by a total coincidence was released at 15:00 and then went to visit Hadar.

On the way to Jerusalem i sat next to Haggai, a nice Chabadnik, whom i asked to teach me a bit Tanya. An interesting piece of religious-philosophic literature, once you understand all the abbreviations. A lot can be said about Chabad‘s unusual practices, but the book of Tanya is not a hoax; any opposition to it is purely political. Incidentally or not the part which is supposed to be studied on the 9th of Av speaks about self control and power of will, something very human, with almost no references to Sabbath and Kashruth etc. Haggai told that whahtever i will learn is “personal providence” — why not, i accept that.

For supper i ate one toast with Feta cheese and tomatoes and a little salad. And a yoghurt. And an apple and a few grapes. And finished the first half of “War and Peace”.

The 9th of Av of 5764 was a good day for me. Today, the day after, was yet another 8:30 to 17:30 workday with Pam-Pam’s Kabab in pita for dinner. We all need special days sometimes.


Russian classical novels — what is it good for?

I’m finally taking up Tolstoy’s “War and Peace, What is it Good For” in its original tongue, Russian French. It goes surprisingly quickly, i’m already on page 370. It’s truly amazing how lively his language sounds. Tolstoy is so damn good at presenting different character types, such as Boris’ disgusting adaptiveness to army bureaucracy — “a subordination in which a well-connected staff sergeant can give orders to a colonel”. And then there are also Marie’s modest religiousness, Dolokhov’s repulsive cruelty, and Prince Andrew’s manly, blunt and individualistic reasoning. But my favourite is Pierre Bezukhov, of course, with his emotional directness, unpretentiousness and naïve search for truth.

Some critics go all the way to say that “War and Peace” is really more of an excercise in character prototyping than an actual novel, but that’s exactly the thing i love about it. Tolstoy’s philosophy never stops surprising me — i would expect that he would emphasize virtues like patriotism, faith and honor much more, but he stubbornly keeps teaching the reader that nothing is more important than humanity, life and love. If only he was the czar.

I’m sick too

I had a heart attack yesterday. Actually it was in my belly, but i don’t know how they call it when it happens there. I felt this sharp pain in my belly, tried to tell Eitan that i’m dying, but could hardly speak. Then my head began to explode, there was funny noise in my ears and i lost my clarity for a few moments. Finally Eitan and the guys from IBM who work with us called an ambulance. The paramedics found that my blood pressure dropped to something like 80/50, but i felt fine except that. They took me to Sourasky (Ikhilov), where a male nurse took my blood, or at least tried, because his needle stuck inside, bended and he had to take it from the other hand. When he finally succeeded, a doctor came to check me. Actually she was an intern, and she wasn’t particularly nice; impatient and cynical, Israeli-style. Eventually after almost 2 hours in the E.R. they just said that i’m in perfect health. I’m not a hypochondriac, but somehow i just don’t believe them.

R.I.P. Yekhezk’el Mualem

Hadar’s uncle passed away last night after a long illness. I didn’t know much about it, i knew that he is ill, and he was operated recently, but until the very last time i saw him he made his best efforts to enjoy every little moment of his life, and i think he did. I’ll remember him as a good, happy and loved human being. TNZBH.

Newsflash: Amir G. gives me anxiety headache

Amir G. is a sick fuck. Just had an urge to say it.

I went to my usual physician a few days ago and told her how bad i feel at the workplace. Physically ill. She asked me if there’s someone in particular in my workplace that makes me so ill, i said yes. She asked me if everything becomes normal when i come home, i said yes. She said that it’s a known condition, medically called “anxiety”. She couldn’t formulate it better: “It sometimes happens that some loser is over-promoted and then he ruins the lives of his employees … usually out of envy.” She gave me one sick day, with the diagnosis “Headache”.

There it is, Mr. G.: To you i’m just a little soldier, but to me you’re just a little man. I have just six months until the end of that damned contract. You won’t break me.

My dad discovers the world of MP3

Yes — he bought a new CD player for the car, now all his tapes are obsolete and he wants something new and obviously the possibility of getting free Leningrad music excites him.

Of course, searching for “leningrad mp3” is not very productive, as most of those monster mp3 sites are strange ad traps and God knows why do they exist at all. Advanced users like me can’t find anything there, so what can users like my dad do.