Arik Einstein, Israeli icon, died on Tuesday.
“There is no American equivalent to Arik Einstein. Einstein is the father of Israeli rock. Period. All Israeli rock roads lead to Arik Einstein.”
This is another experience that highlights my status as an oleh (immigrant). Although I know something about Einstein, his film work, and his music, it’s not very much, and there is no real connection. Yet, strangely, I can sense the loss. Perhaps it’s a feeling generated by those around me. The Times of Israel obituary, from which the above quote is taken, also includes this:
Boaz Cohen, a well-known disc jockey at 88 FM and Kol Yisrael, listed his planned roster of three hours of Arik Einstein songs for Wednesday morning on his Facebook page, and then wrote that he had one request, and perhaps he said it best:
“Please, please, don’t make a tribute to Arik Einstein, on the 30th year of his death, with bad and mediocre singers… who can sing and catch a ride on Einstein’s death… He was a man who symbolized more than the land of Israel.. .and only wanted to be in his house, the same house where he was born and raised all his life, with his basketball and soccer… with tea and lemon and old books and records.”
“He had 74 years on earth,” wrote Cohen. “Now you can honor the legacy left to us. Listen to his songs. Watch his movies. It’s the best way to honor him and as honestly as possible.”
Perhaps Boaz Cohen did indeed say it best.