Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Memories and Music in Gedera (of all places)

Gedera holds pleasant memories for me. When I came to Israel after the Six Day War in June of 1967 our group ended up right near Gedera. There wasn't much to do after we finished work, so we ended up going to Gedera a few times, mostly on foot. Once we got to Gedera we usually had a felafel and a drink at one of the two places on the main road. For lack of much else to do we watched the traffic on the road. What we saw was mostly tanks and other military vehicles many of which still bore the Egyptian markings. These were the spoils of war being transported.  
Gedera was founded by members of the Bilu movement in 1884 and was one of the first settlements of the modern period. The main street in Gedera is Biluyim street after these first settlers. It is tree lined and is home to some very nice restaurants and galleries set up in these renovated old homes.
Badolina is a cafe and bakery in Gedera. We celebrated my daughter's college graduation there a few years ago so I have particularly warm feelings about the place. The food there is very good and they have really excellent cakes. Badolina has a new branch in the restored Port in Tel Aviv which was the first and for a long time איקonly kosher restaurant in the area. 
This week we spent a lovely evening in the yard listening to the brothers Ehud and Shachar Ariel sing accompanied by guitar and harmonica and a drummer who drummed on a wooden box. They performed mainly songs by their father, the late Meir Ariel.  
Meir Ariel (from the official site)
Meir Ariel was a paratrooper in the Six Day War and helped liberate the Old City of Jerusalem. He later recorded a song to the tune of Naomi Shemer's Jerusalem of Gold called Jerusalem of Iron. It was considered at the time very cynical because he mentioned smoke and blood and the black of mourning the soldiers.After that he lived in the US for a while where I guess he picked up his own style. His songs are in the vein of Bob Dylan in his folk-rock period and some of them lean toward blues. You know, the kind of music that appeals to those of us who came of age in the sixties. (Remember don't trust anyone over 30? sigh) The evening was very successful. We arrived early and heard the performers warming up. The weather here has been warm so sitting outside was very pleasant. (We are praying for rain, should I feel guilty for enjoying the mild weather?) and in honor of the occasion I even had a drank a glass of sparkling wine. David had beer. We also ordered some light food to nosh on which was very good. I had salmon in teriyaki on skewers served over a salad and David had penne noodles with mushrooms and cheese.
The music was great. Ariel's two sons have become religious and sometimes it seems a little incongruous because this is not what you would associate with Breslever Hassidim. Well, that's not totally true because Shuli Rand does music in this style but his lyrics are of a more religious nature. Ehud is a very talented guitarist. The drummer Omer Seri was amazing because instead of a set of drums he sat on a box and drummed on it. They did add a medley of Jewish songs and the audience sang along enthusiastically. (It is much easier to sing along with these songs than with the folk-rock - at least for me.) All in all, we agreed that it was a very special evening and look forward to doing this again some time.


Batya said...

Sounds great. We have to do a "couples" get-together at HaGov.

Sarah said...

thanks for the restaurant review, it's so close to me and yet I have never heard of Badolina before. Although I didn't come of age in the 1960's I still love that style of music.

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