Central Tel Aviv of an evening is as glamorous as any posh NYC evening. At a concert and play women are dressed to the ‘T’s”, as are a sampling of men. The majority of men, however, seem unconcerned to be stylish, comfortable in unassuming working class threads.
East of the city’s bustle and glamor on a hill just this side of the green line I can hear calls to prayer several times a day. They float eerily, hauntingly, plaintively, from three separate Arab village Minarets, miles apart. The drawn-out incantations don’t co-ordinate exactly, covering different distances, sung by different singers, each with a sense of what tenor should be adopted. So it’s a weird effect, like three photos superimposed (but no single one exactly lining up with the others). The effect is a raw and soothing sublime – vocal chant in a strange harmonic frame, strangely embellished, from towers that are the highest points by far in the villages in sight on surrounding hilltops. ~~ Harrowing and underworld is the barbed wire erected ten years ago in response to terrorist forays from the direction of the villages . . . It is a hallowed and harrowed land.