Always shy, never arrogant

Op-ed: Singer Chava Alberstein bids farewell to Arik Einstein, who refused to live as a huge star

VIDEO - It's strange eulogizing Arik Einstein, who was forever young in some way. Always embarrassed, never getting carried away, never arrogant.


Arik was a huge star, undeniably the biggest we have ever had here. But a star who refuses to acknowledge that he is a huge star, and refuses to run his life as one. Today, in a world in which every child who goes on TV acts like a king surrounded by PR agents and image consultants – it's hard to understand Arik's conduct.


But I think that apart from the wonderful songs he sang and wrote, and apart from his soft and comforting voice, the way he chose to live his life is the most important message he is leaving behind. People tried quite a few times, using different temptations, to drag him to come and fill up stadiums – but he refused. And this refusal did not just stem from bashfulness. It was his way of honoring his songs. Leaving them the way he liked at home, in the intimate place they were created in.


Can you imagine Arik Einstein performing in some stadium and the audience roaring with him, "Ani ve ata neshane et haolam" ("You and I will change the world")? There's no chance. And I get the feeling that this is not the way to change the world. The way to make a change is Arik's subtle and gentle way: Talking to every listener as if he were the only one in the world, as if only you and I exist in the world. Just Arik and the listener. That is the greatest gift Arik left us.



If I were to put together an anthology of Israeli music (and I mean songs, not melodies), I would definitely include the song "Sa Leat" ("Drive Slowly"). It took me a while to understand the beauty and depth of this sloppy-like song. Its free form, as if talking. For me it was really a groundbreaking song.


What a richness of images this travel song contains. Our entire life is traveling here in front of us. Friendship, football, a sudden winter, anxiety over the war surrounding us and traveling with us everywhere, love for a woman, for a family – and the classic and hopeful sentence of all artists in the world – "They won't start without us."


It's true, Arik, that they won't start without us, but what can we do, they will continue even without us. But with you the journey was much more pleasant and safe, and we were willing to travel with you more and more.



פרסום ראשון: 11.28.13, 11:47
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