When the news came from Israel today of the passing of Arik Einstein, I didn’t understand the magnitude of the loss. I didn’t know that Einstein was “Israel’s Sinatra,” as I read via The Times of Israel. I didn’t even know that Einstein was the source of one of the most beautiful Hebrew songs I know, “Ani v’Ata.”
Listen to the song below. The lyrics are available here.
Some months ago, I was granted access to a digital galley of Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. As soon as I heard that the book had won the inaugural Natan Book Award (the committee for which included my idol Jeffrey Goldberg), the book went straight to the top of my TBR list. I knew that it was going to be pretty impressive.
And it was. But I didn’t feel sufficiently qualified to write about it. So I didn’t seek a reviewing assignment before the book’s official release this month.
But I am continuing to be impressed–and educated–as I listen to Shavit’s radio interviews and read reviews of the book. Continue reading ›
“Isn’t it a little weird? There are nine or ten resolutions against Israel. And I know there’s a problem with the Palestinians. But there’s other bad shit going on and they’re spending so much time on this.”
–Unnamed U.N. interpreter, quoted by The Times of Israel
“I didn’t write the book to defend Israeli policies, and I have never believed that, as a Jew, I should have to make the case for Israel’s existence to anyone. Whoever disputes it deserves to be scorned, not reasoned with.”
Source: Hillel Halkin, “Letters to an American Friend,” in Mosaic magazine.
This piece is a version of the introduction to a reissued edition of the book, which I’ve already pre-ordered.