Be Cool. Matisyahu gives us a much needed beat
Living in Israel is never easy. Understatement. And now with talk about a third Intifada, actual rioting in the Old City and calls of the destruction of Israel from Arab leaders in East Jerusalem to Arab leaders in the Arab nations, life here seems to be more stressful than ever. Reading the news makes me nervous to walk the streets, ride the buses or be in crowded places.
But I still go out and I still live my life here. In fact last night I went to the Matisyahu concert held at Sultan’s Pool right outside the walls of the Old City. On my way I couldn’t help but worry about the possible terrorism that could take place. My mind has a wild imagination, so I was worried about the parked cars, the people with big bags and making sure the security guards were thoroughly during their job—not to mention my fears of 18-year-old “Shana Alef” girls and boys that would probably be drinking beer and standing next to me at the concert (some might argue that is the scariest of all).
But when the music started all the fears, worries and doubts disappeared into the raging beats and all I could do was move to them. Matisyahu’s lyrics and mere presence reminded me that this isn’t just a concert in Israel, this is a part of our way of life and nothing or no one can change that. We are the Jewish people and this is our Homeland. The songs helped to remind me that life is hard, life for the Jews has always been hard, but we can still find the joy in the fog of hate and we can still bust a move.
So I danced to the music. We all danced to the music—even if our moves were that of Jewish white boys and girls, and we couldn’t manage to stay on rhythm. We danced because we could. Because we were dancing in an ancient pool of the Israelites. Because the Old City, might be old but we are keeping it young. We are keeping it. We’re dancing for our ancestors; we’re dancing for our future. We’re dancing cause we think we’re cool and we’re dancing because we know we’re afraid.
The last piece that Matisyahu left the crowd with is his famous song “Jerusalem.” The lyrics say it all, “Jerusalem, if I forget you, fire not gonna come from me tongue. Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it’s supposed to do.” From the prayers of King David to the hopes of the next generation, thank you Matisyahu for reminding us to move to the beat and keep going.