Arik Einstein

The news of Arik Einstein’s passing on crossed the globe in a heartbeat, shrinking the distance between Israel and New York to the length of a page scroll on Facebook. With it came great sadness.

I wanted to share with my kids, who are American-born and are not familiar with this Israeli giant of a singer, the news, so I told them that Arik Einstein for Israelis is what Bruce Springsteen is for Americans. To my dismay they didn’t know who Springsteen is… I explained to them that The Boss, in many ways, is an embodiment of the American culture; that if you want to know what American music is, at least in my opinion, it is Springsteen. Yes, its Rock ‘n’ Roll but it’s not just any Rock ‘n’ Roll; from the lyrics to the rasp yet appealing voice, to the melodies, its 100% American. In much the same way Arik Einstein was for Israelis.
To further illustrate this point I called my kids to the computer and opened YouTube. First I showed them a couple of Springsteen’s songs including Born in the USA, which they indicated sounded familiar. Still in shock that my kids have a hard time recognizing the music of The Boss, I looked up some of Arik Einstein’s music. Of his many songs I personally find Sa’ L’At (Drive Slowly) to be the song that best embodies the Israeli experience; more than any other. But for the simplicity of its lyrics and message I chose to play for my kids A’nee Ve’Ata (Me and You). Shortly after, my eyes started tearing up and my voice choked. I excused myself and retired to my room.

Arik_EinsteinTaking a shower I was contemplating how come Einstein’s passing away had affected me so deeply. I am not a tough guy but I don’t easily burst out crying.
It occurred to me that there are many other Israeli singers I much like, including Matti Kaspi and Yehuda Poliker to mention only a few, but I suspect that they would not have evoked such a profound response if they were to succumb. Einstein, in his unassuming appearance, homey voice, and simple lyrics and melodies, feels like home. He is like someone you know, a close friend, a brother, maybe even a part of your own self. Thus his passing on is as if part of you had died. And yes, his music will continue to live on with anyone who grew up on his songs. Yet there is a comprehension that something will now be missing in this world, something that cannot be replaced. It is not about fear of death nor the passing of a generation. It’s about a certain sense of naiveté that died already a while back yet with Einstein’s departure the apprehension of that reality sets in.

There are no last words that can be said in memory of this man. Taoism teaches us that death is but another transformation. I am just thankful that whilst passing through my life, Arik Einstein touched me in the way he did.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (film review)

Catching-Fire

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Time as a set of mind: an experiment

If there is something I always seem to be in short supply of, its time.

For years I have been telling myself, and just about everyone around me, that I absolutely have not a minute to spare. I have been repeating it so often that even when I find myself with nothing urgent to do, it feels more like a mistake on my part; that there is something important I forgot to do, than actual free time. There is a cliché of a saying that “You cannot often change your circumstances, but you can sure as hell change your attitude.” Recently it downed on me that corny or not, I can apply this approach to time. What if, I wondered, rather than repeat the mantra of ‘I have no time’, I will do the opposite and start chanting “I have time, I have time, I have plenty of… time?”

coffee1My initial thought was that this exercise won’t work; that since I truly believed I have not a moment to spare, just stating the contrary will serve no real purpose. But my life experience had taught me that when I firmly believe in something, I should try the opposite.

You can picture my surprise when, faster than I could have imagined, I started feeling the effect of this little experiment. Even at rushed moments, when I did not really believe the clock is on my side, I stood true by my mantra: “I have plenty of time.”

No, my new attitude did not add more hours to the clock nor did it make items on my to-do list vanish, but curiously enough, it appeared to make me feel like I have time to spare, read, write, even play my guitar!

This is still all work in progress and, no doubt, challenging moments will come. But so far I am glad to report that indeed I am experiencing an attitude change towards the rolling arms of the clock.

Next I am going to work on a new mantra: “I have plenty of money.” Let’s see will that affect my bank account…

Thor: The Dark World (film review)

Thor_The_Dark_World

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Bethlehem (film recommendation)

Betlehem_Poster

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Purposeless Meandering (a poem of sorts)

ET_nose1The Yogi chants OM

ET wants home

A foodie calls Yum!

and sometimes Yummy!

The child demands mom!

occasionally mommy

I don’t give a damn

So is the way of dummies

Enough Said (film recommendation)

New film review:

http://ronenrecommends.com/RonenRecommends/tabid/1989/entryid/356/enough-said-2013.aspx

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