Arik Sinai: the Cohen Ranger
Jerusalemites have shouldered more than enough sorrow to justify the sense of fatalism that often seems to hang over the city, but that fatalism, fostered by years of conflict and strife, is of a peculiar sort; instead of inspiring apathy, it seems to fire city residents' desire to live for and fully appreciate the moment. Jerusalemites may resign themselves to the possibility of lives being cruelly stolen away, but they steadfastly refuse to resign themselves to the possibility of lives misspent. It's that aspect of the Jerusalem character, more than any physical defense, that keeps the city alive and ensures it remains the place we love. So when tragedy strikes, as it did this week, perhaps the best way to respond is in the Jerusalemite manner: honor the dead by honoring life. This weekend, thousands of city residents will go out and celebrate the simple fact of being alive in the Holy City. Join them.
Among your many options this week for celebration:
- Tonight marks the beginning of the free Summer Nights concert and performance series, taking place all over the city. Everything's kicking off with a performance by the Kolben Dance Company twirling through 18th century waltzes pumped out by the Israeli Camerata Orchestra.
- Summer Nights continues, in a contradictory fashion, on Friday afternoon with a series of free rock shows at the Yellow Submarine by a number of Israelis bands. After all, the best way to acknowledge American Independence Day is to revel in the country's greatest gift to the world: rock 'n' roll.
- After the close of Shabbat on Saturday night, you can witness a unique instance of international (and inter-Jewish) cultural exchange when aged Israeli rock god Arik Sinai runs through a set of Leonard Cohen covers at the Yellow Submarine. Can he out-Cohen Jeff Buckley? Only one way to find out.
- If Cohen's moody oeuvre doesn't do anything for you, perhaps you'd feel more comfortable with Barbra and Bette - or at least, their songs (and others') as interpreted by Adina Feldman and her band. Wine and cheese included.
- If you have a moment on Monday, swing by artist Noa Nahari's exhibit "Side Walk," which has to do with sidewalk installations as they relate to socio-political meta-narratives, or something. No, really.
- If you like having your mind totally blown, man, stop by the Jerusalem Theatre on Tuesday for Glow, a blacklight theatre comedy that promises to help you find yourself. Don't forget to eat some mushroom...um, pizza before going.
- With a one-time run starting on Tuesday (and continuing through Thursday), an American-European-Israeli production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic The Sound of Music has arrived in Jerusalem - but will Israelis have much sympathy for the plight of a family whose greatest loss to the Nazis was a nice house and an audience?
- For those of you on the avant garde tip, don't miss Hazira's The Mill Owner and the Miller on Wednesday night, a modern dance take on a European Jewish fable.
And if that's not enough for you, there's lot more to see in the Events section.