Three baby steps toward sanity

I could swear I’d seen the Messiah’s nose poking just around the corner. Two announcements from the Government Press Office have made my day (and now you can see how little it takes).

Israel’s Daylight Savings Time to be extended

Hard to believe but true, Israeli DST is to be extended to an average of 193 days (as compared to 182 days now). Thus, local DST will run from the end of March to the end of September.

Compared to the United States, however, the change is but a drop in the bucket. There, DST runs from the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

But who cares about the US? “Extending daylight savings time will promote better coordination with Europe’s economic clock” the Government Press Office explained.

Coming your way: Uniform spelling of Israeli place names

Say goodbye to Herzel, Hertzel, and other variants of the surname of the Zionist visionary. Perhaps we can also bid adieu to Petach Tiqwa and Shavei Ziyyon. By prime ministerial fiat the country is to have uniform spellings. The official names are to appear in all official publications, such as maps and road signs, textbooks and guidebooks.

The communiqué from the prime minister’s media adviser said the new rules would apply to transliterations of Hebrew names to Latin and Arabic characters, and of Arabic names to Latin characters, “and vice versa.” Whatever that “vice versa” means, it will be nice as long as zealots don’t wield their paint cans to blot out the Arabic names, as they’ve done in the past.

But wait: The new names are to be determined by a 10-member ministerial committee. What input can Eli Yishai and Stas Misezhnikov provide on Arabic transliterations, not to mention English ones? And don’t these august ministers have anything more important to do with their time? Why isn’t the whole business being handed over to professionals? And most important, what’s the deadline for implementing the decision?

Another spin of the Carousel

Because the few words I wrote on June 29 in connection with the Encore theater’s production of Carousel were not a review of the performance I saw, I’d like to add a very brief review.

The soloists, including 17-year-old Miri Fraenkel (who played Julie Jordan), were delightful, and the chorus had a robust sound. The New Savoy Orchestra, conducted by Paul Salter at the piano, acquitted itself well.

But though the play itself had some interesting features, like the treatment of domestic violence, it was overly long and dragged in parts. In particular, the dance solo went on for too long.

Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to see so many people, from the very, very young to the (young) geriatric, having a wonderful time putting on this musical. That’s one of the things that keeps me sane in Jerusalem. Kudos!

Text copyright 2011 by Esther Hecht. No part of the text may be used without written permission of the author.


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3 Responses to “Three baby steps toward sanity”

  1. Ruth Smith Says:

    I remember a time when Sabras and Sefardim laughed at musicals. They thought it was the most hysterical thing that you would have a story and in the middle of it the actors would begin to sing and dance. Guess the audiences have become more western in their tastes.

    • estherhecht Says:

      Or Eastern. We’ve all watched lots of Egyptian and Indian movies over here in which the actors burst into song at every opportunity. The audience consisted mostly of native English-speakers, many of them senior citizens.

  2. Ed Jaffe Says:

    OK Esther- this time I clicked on ‘Leave a comment’
    previously I had clicked on ‘Reply’

    Please ignore my questions if they belabor your weary soul.
    However I am interested in your valued response.
    (and it will keep the conversation going which is also valued).

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