il portale dell'ebraismo italiano

Double Life – Shiva at pub Simta

fubiniBy Daniela Fubini*

The light of hundreds of candles lit in apparent lack of order sheds light and warmth all around the shattered windows of the pub Simta. On the left, the health food store is open until late. Nothing has changed here, not even the position of the carts, still close to the entrance on the right and bordering the pub. On those carts, the terrorist put down his backpack to take out a long weapon and then started shooting from that edge of the store towards people sitting quietly on a chilly Friday afternoon, in the uncertain sun between short rainfalls.

In the meanders of the candles, some shapes are clear some are lost. The names of the two young men murdered here are neat, and so is a heart right by the doorstep, somewhat childish but essential in its meaning. There used to be a Star of David, but its points were broken by the need of more people to add another candle, and another.

On the right side of the temporary memorial, three objects that are not candles lay in a darker area. A small flag of Israel is on the floor, the same size and type now showing in each store of the block, and crowning the bus stop in front of the pub. A crown made of dark leaves holding a ribbon “The Show Must Go On”, by Mike’s Place, reminding that Tel Aviv has seen terror before, and life must continue. A flag of Golani, the unit where one of the victims served, is stuck to the window at eye’s level. On the flag, over the bold yellow background stands a green olive tree. On the other side of the windows, inside the Simta, a real tree stands right in the middle of the floor.

When the shiva, the seven mourning days, is over, the candles will probably be thrown away. They are so many that the owners have stored the metal or glass empty holders inside the pub. A carpet of consumed candles. Opposite the Simta, on the other side of Dizengoff, Dizzi is open and full of people. The music is low if there’s any, and people gather there after spending some time in silence on this side of the same street. Post-trauma interpreted by the City that never sleeps.

*Daniela Fubini (Twitter @d_fubini) lives and writes in Tel Aviv, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.