(מה שיותר עמוק יותר כחול (1970 (Arik Einstein)

einstein

For anyone interested in modern Israel and the new Israeli identity that emerged out the 1960s and into the 1970s and early 1980s, Chemi Shalev’s obituary of the Israeli singer Arik Einstein is a must read. Einstein’s was the baritone voice of the generation that came after the Founding Generation of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. A Tel Aviv icon, he symbolized for many an Israel unburdened by Jewishness, especially the constructed kinds of “Jewishness” that would seem to both enliven and burden culture and politics in contemporary Israel. In the image of a quiet, Ashkenazi Israeli macho, Einstein’s songs about the sea, girls, children, growing up, mothers, and sadness could be unbearably sweet while sung with what looked like a penetrating and thoughtful scowl. I like a lot this rather more hip and punky little clip, That Which is More Deep is More Blue from 1970. Without real regard for the history that embeds the scene, it’s just now. “A new man” with a new haircut, young Einstein, tall and skinny and wearing a jaunty hat smokes, jives, and struts to a fast and jerky electric beat up and down an empty, desolate stretch of beach in what I’m guessing is Yaffo in 1970. Mordant and melancholic, Shalev’s own reflections read like an obituary of modern Israel itself, marking the passing of “the new, liberal, secular Israel that we once thought we would be.”

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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