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April 23: Hadassah Hospital
Today we went to see the famous Marc Chagall windows at the Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem. Following that we decided to go to the Wall to schedule a tour of the Tunnels since tickets need to be purchased in advance.
In the evening we walked to a choral concert at the Jerusalem Theatre. Good day.
We did see preparations for the Memorial celebration in the Jewish Quarter. While we knew it was going to be tomorrow night, we were reminded once again that the Old City is a place we don't want to be near tomorrow because of possibly violent Arab demonstrations against Israel's right to exist.
This morning my wife woke up before I did—a rare occurrence. But only after I heard the computer-generated voice say “It’s 10 o’clock” did I get alarmed. I had slept almost 10 hours—another rare occurrence. Damn! As my wife and I had previously deliberated, we were supposed to go no later than 10:30 to see Marc Chagall’s twelve stained-glass windows representing the tribes of Israel. Slightly disoriented, I labored out of bed to make some coffee. When I saw my wife at her computer, I asked her why she had let my stay in bed so long. She, not at all concerned, said that she had just gotten up herself. Well, she might be uncharacteristically blasé about our appointment, but I rushed (only after the coffee kicked in) to get ready. After zipping through my morning ablutions, thrashing around to find my clothes, and not too delicately eating my breakfast, I realized that it was indeed too late to view Chagall’s masterwork at the Hadassah Hospital synagogue in Ein Kerem. And yet my wife, who I discovered was still in her nightgown and had only sipped a bit of coffee, seemed quite content.
We now had only a few hours before attending a 5:00 chamber music concert at the nearby Jerusalem Theater. It was my responsibility to figure out where to go and how to get back in time. First I consulted my watch. Another setback. It was almost three hours slow, and I had just had a new battery put in it yesterday. Damn! It must be broken. My wife didn’t bring hers to Israel, and our cell phones are inactive as well. I began to say Kaddish for my old, reliable timepiece until I looked up. For the first time this morning, I noticed the kitchen wall clock. The time was 8:15, the same time that my watch had indicated. How could my watch and the clock both be three hours slow? Feeling as if I were in the Twilight Zone, I then asked my wife what was the real time. She serenely said that it was still early. I had evidently misheard the time voiced by the computer while I was wriggling around in bed, half asleep.
Now I have a question. Did my wife knowingly let me think that we had only a few minutes to take the bus to the hospital synagogue, or was she so caught up in her computer emails that she was oblivious to my plight? I think I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt—otherwise, I might need the benefit of clergy.