I will forever be amazed and awed by the tremendous and unique experiences the city of Jerusalem has to offer.
I recently returned from a short, trip to Europe. Upon my return, a dear friend of mine invited me to go with her to a Yiddish-Tango musical performance in the Eden-Tamir Music Center in Ein Kerem Jerusalem. Tangentially, this is a a gem of a music hall, which was established by husband and wife team Bracha Eden and Alex Tamir in 1968. To me, the hall serves as a little oasis within Jerusalem; the concerts - usually classical and beautiful flowers and shrubbery, lend towards the remarkable creativity that is always displayed in the range of performances offered.
The concert was extremely moving and heartfelt. Apparently tango music was big in Poland in the 30’s, before the war! The songs were written in both Polish and Yiddish, and contained much meaning and nostalgia for us listeners. Many of such songs were unfortunately lost, but several were preserved, and this night we were fortunate enough to hear a group from Warsaw perform them on piano, guitar, accordion, and other such instruments. As the group played, I was simply swept back in time, into this shtetl world of Warsaw pre war I felt tearful thinking of my father Z'L who was in Poland at this time. And if that wasn’t enough, the homemade soup which was served during the intervals was truly the cherry on top!
What was also remarkable was that on our drive toward the concert hall, we came across a sudden traffic jam, so we looked around to see what was the cause of the hold up. Down the street we saw a procession being held for the dedication of a new Sefer Torah. The street was filled with dancing crowds, and joyful music. Bystanders sat in their cars waiting to get to the concert, or other destinations, but instead of the standard Israeli styled honking and frustration, everyone simply sat there in silence. Not a honk was heard, only the singing and dancing of these passionate, jubilant individuals who came out to celebrate such a pure and beautiful feat. Suddenly, the traffic cleared up and everyone continued on their way, like nothing had happened.
As Jerusalem Day swiftly approaches, it’s refreshing and heartwarming to simply place politics aside and take in the beauty and genuineness of this land and her people. It is simply transfixing and remarkable, and once again I am left with the line that continues to hold all too true…’Only in Jerusalem’.
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