Editor’s Wrapup: On the Surface
Anyone who lived in or visited New York in the 1970’s knows that a blank wall was an invitation to those calligraphic vandals who planted the word graf- fiti firmly into our vocabulary. Today, it is Israel, among other lands, that has a growing graffiti scene. It’s not as widespread as the old New York variiety was; some of it, in fact, is both sanctioned and aesthetic. Esther Hecht looks at the phenomenon (page 20) and what it says about social, political and personal communication in the Jewish state.
It’s not just the walls of Israel that figure in the debate of what is appropriate for Jewish surfaces. Nessa Rapoport is engaged in an inner debate about what aging does to a woman’s looks, how to retard the process and where to draw the line between the radiance of the soul and the body the Creator gave us to adorn. Her essay appears on page 27.
Some blemishes have nothing to do with age. Physicians at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem are among the leading Israeli practitioners of a technique for removing large moles or skin lesions and covering the resulting scars. By placing a balloon beneath the surface of a patient’s skin, the skin expands and can then be stitched over an unsightly patch. Wendy Elliman describes the procedure and some of the children it has helped, beginning on page 64.
More than 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, but the water suitable for human use is unevenly distributed. For much of the past generation, the Middle East has been described as being on the brink of a crisis—and perhaps a war—over liquid resources. Now, it appears, Israel is becoming a world water power, with desalination plants, irrigation technology, filtration systems and other initiatives becoming a brighter and larger part of the nation’s economy. Sara K. Eisen reports on “Israel’s Watershed” (page 38).
No doubt some Israelis might want to use the extra water to wash some walls.