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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Arik Einstein - YOU AND I WILL CHANGE THE WORLD Ani Ve Ata אריק איינשטיין - אני ואתה


Lorelai's thoughts on the loss of one of the Reshonim of Israeli music -

Mourning Arik Einstein is also an experience of mourning an Israeli that exists only in memory - my Israel of 1974 and 1976, my Israel where there was only one TV station (which played IDF-Meets-Jack LaLane style calisthenics   every morning in black and white), where the sound of feet crunching sunflower seeds beneath sidewalks was part of the hum, where a flock of sheep crossing the street in Jerusalem routinely stopped traffic, when a bathroom was a "Beit Shemush" and not a "Sherutim." My Israel that reached from Metulla and Rosh Hanikra to Sharm El Shech, when laying beneath the starry desert sky at Dahab was both safe and normal, when a walk through the Arab Shuk via Jaffa Gate promised bloody goat body parts hanging from hooks at every turn, when Mamilla was a respectably shabby slum instead of a glittering retail installation.

A more innocent time and place, look for it no longer, for it exists only in memory - and on video, and captured recordings - luckily for us.

What hasn't changed since the '70's is how much Israelis love Arik Einstein. 

Israelis love to sing. They sing in what would be to the average American male, an almost embarrassingly uninhibited way, while doing normal things - walking down the street, driving a bus or a taxi, sorting mail, sweeping the sidewalks, etc. etc. Israeli men in particular are touching in this manner - especially the burly and testosterone-endowed amongst them, G*d bless them and thank you Ribbono Shel Olam for creating this particular strain of Israeli. The guy just sings to himself, going about his business.

There's not one amongst them that doesn't sing "Ani v'Ata" as part of his everyday repertoire. With the possible exception of Naomi Shemer's "Yerushaylim Shel Zahav" and of course, "Hatikva," there isn't a more iconic song for Israelis than "Ani v'Ata." In fact, may I venture to say that "Ani v'Ata" is to Israeli culture what  Alaynu is to the Orthodox liturgy. Can't get through the day without it. It's in our blood.

Bibi Netanyahu nailed it when he said Arik's music was the soundtrack of our lives.

Arik died Erev Chanukah. Let's remember his light - the light of the Reshonim of Israeli music - like the Chanukah candles, will grow in brightness forever. You and I will change the world.