Maybe it’s because I’m tone deaf, but I’m dreadfully awful at matching famous songs to their singers. My musical flaw doesn’t prevent me from appreciating good music, though it does prevent those around me from enjoying it if I happen to decide to sing along.
However, my lack of musical skills is not really the issue. Even for those poor souls who don’t know which band or singer sings what songs, there are still a few musical icons who are well known to almost everyone in their country. Those are the unique talented performers whose prolific and varied careers have spanned decades and have weaved themselves into the very fiber of the nation.
Arik Einstein is one of the, if not THE, icons who have raised a nation in the shadow of their songs. Einstein has been coined the godfather of Israeli rock and generations of Israelis grew up listening to his music.
It’s no wonder that a whole country is mourning his loss.
The night before Arik suddenly passed away, I went to a seminar. Towards the end, the lights were dimmed and everyone was asked to close their eyes. A song was played and everyone was told to listen to the words. What song did they choose to play for its important message? Arik Einstein’s “Yesh Bi Ahava” (I have love within.)
As I sit here with my heart heavy for the loss of one of Israel’s most talented performers, I know that the reason so many people are sad right now is because Arik, through his music, showed us what love is and what love is capable of achieving. His words, his message, his tunes and his unique voice are the delicate tool used to gently strip people of the walls they build up around themselves to keep people out. His music stirs up emotions and reminds people what it means to love, receive love and connect with their feelings.
Everyone has love within and everyone is love. The problem is that we don’t always remember that. Music is the warm water that slowly begins to melt our defenses and let our inner core shine through. Sometimes it takes something beautiful like a distinctive voice singing a stirring song to remind us that all everyone really wants is to be loved.
Arik’s message in the song yesh Bi Ahava? Love is everywhere, you just have to let it in. And once you acknowledge that you have love within, you can then change the world. All it takes is Ani V’Ata. (You and me.)
Thank you Arik for reminding me that I have love within and it will just continue to grow. Love will conquer…the doubts, the confusion and the pain that comes with loss. As you so eloquently sang, love is the answer and we will change the world, one person and one tune at a time.
Arik, may you rest in peace and sing with the angels. At least we have your music to comfort us.