Daniel J. Roth

Guilt and Loathing in Tel Aviv

Between the sporadic sounds of sudden sirens and booming explosions, we, whom dwell within the little enclave affectionately referred to as the “State of Tel Aviv,” continue to live life as normal….and that’s the problem.

While the south of Israel endures a constant cacophony of booms and blast, respites coming all to infrequent, those of us within the “State” sip on coffee in bustling cafes and complain about the heat. This is not to trivialize the concerns of us who live in this lovely little metropolis, it simply offered as a juxtaposition in relation to our collective experience.

And the luxury of being able to complain about the weather accentuates this strange feelings about the whole situation.  Here in Tel Aviv, the sirens serve as reminders, in the south, the sirens serve as a perennial reality.

As a result, feelings of guilt arise- whether its misplaced is another question. However, it stands to reason that this is not a singular phenomenon but shared amongst Israelis who feel empathy and impotency for those whose unfortunate geographic locations puts them in more danger than those of us located in the center or to the north.

Speaking to friends who have relatives living in Ashdod and Ashkelon, they offer anecdotal evidence to the contrary. One commented, “there is no reason for you to feel guilty. My grandparents live their lives as normal- they refuse to let the situation affect them…. If you feel so guilty, then volunteer and do something.”

ouch…that one hurt.


About the Author
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Daniel currently resides in the heart of Tel Aviv. After being in tattoo industry most of his adult life, he made the decision to come on Aliyah, complete his education, and seek a deeper understanding of the world around him.
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