Every now and then I become transfixed with longing for aspects of Israel – for those aspects of Israel that make life there incredibly energetic – like the complex melodies and mille-feuille-like layers and flavors of the Hebrew language. Life in Israel is flavorful.
This time, I came across a collection of pictures of the beach at Tel Aviv and strong memories of the summer of 1997 came back to me. In August the University in Jerusalem had no seminars, nobody was going there on a regular basis. I had a lot of work to do. The best by far, to escape the heat was to wake up early, take the bus to Tel Aviv, walk one or two kilometers from the Takhana Merkazit in Tel Aviv to one of the beaches, while it was still fresh, find a spot under some shadow and spend the whole day there. And work and work on reduced towers, disjoint amalgams, no maximal models, counting orbits, iterating elementary embeddings to get symmetry of independence, forcing failure of GCH at strong unfoldable cardinals, getting indestructibility of strong unfoldables, going back to -diagrams and source excellence… for a couple of weeks all of this happened in front of the waves, the galim in Hebrew, of the Mediterranean sea in Tel Aviv.
When exhaustion forced me to refresh my head in the waters, I would swim a bit, observe the people, go back to where MC was reading about her Art History topics, read a story, go back to reduced towers…
Day heat would only subside by 5 or 6 o’clock – we would then shower and go slowly back through Sheinkin Street or Rothschild Street – we would stop in the cafes to have a light dinner and back to the bus station, one hour to Jerusalem – arriving there in the relatively chilly evening, refreshed.
The photographs by Gillian Laub capture the amazing “manifold-ness” of the Tel Aviv beach scene: from Arab or Orthodox Jewish women clad from head to toes to immigrants from places ranging from Belarus to Ethiopia, to young fashion- (and body-) conscious trendy Israelis minimally clad of course, to children with threadlocks and older people who seem to have been baking under the sun for a century, to people in wheelchairs who want to partake of the spectacle of the energy of the sea.
Click here to see the whole (amazing, really) album: http://lightbox.time.com/2011/10/10/israeli-beach-gillian-laub/#1