Unless  you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Sir Elton John came to Israel on Thursday night.  In a sparkling blue jacket he performed his most beloved songs to 40,000 plus fans in the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv.

I was a part of that experience.  Sort of.

When a rock star of Elton’s caliber comes to perform here, I rejoice.  I know that these people are under a tremendous amount of pressure not to come to Israel from groups such as BDS who disguises its anti-Israel rhetoric by claiming we are an apartheid state.

We. Are. Not.

In the years since I’ve moved here, we’ve had many performers come. McCartney.  Madonna.  The Rolling Stones.  Leonard Cohen.  Alicia Keyes.  Bon Jovi.  Paul Simon.  Rihanna. Seinfeld. And more.  I’m always thrilled to hear they’re coming even though I’m not necessarily a fan.  And generally, I don’t attend.  These concerts are expensive.

And to be honest, I didn’t pay to see Elton John either.  My friend Tammy suggested a night out on the grass in the park, with Elton as background music.  Our daughters, who are of the Lion King Generation, loved the idea and decided to join us.

And so we found ourselves on the 6:48 train out of Modi’in to Tel Aviv. We were in no particular rush — it’s not like we had to make sure we got a good spot.  In Tel-Aviv, we followed the masses to where the stage was set up.  Everyone was excited and proud for Elton to come to our town (the first on this concert tour).  We easily found a patch of grass to sit on and then moved to a different spot so we could hear him better.  The sun set, the music began, and magic happened.

Even in the non-paying seats.

The girls left to see if they could actually catch a glimpse of the superstar.  Tammy and I spoke a little bit about how good it felt to be there and be a part of something so great, even though we had to push ourselves to come because of responsibilities at home.  We didn’t need to say much though; that’s how it is with some friends. As Elton fell into a rhythm, I lay down on the blanket, watching the sky move, and let the music take over.  In the music, I felt silence, peace and friendship.

The kids came back, laughing at their adventures.  It was time to make our way back home.  Elton accompanied us on our way out of the park, singing, ‘Sad Songs Say So Much’.

I would do this again.  I’d come to the park with a blanket and lay under an expansive sky, listen to good music and enjoy the silence of a great friendship.

Thank you, Sir Elton, from one very appreciative Israeli fan.