Jun 29, 2022
JERUSALEM WEATHER
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Bruce Springsteen, the world famous rock and roll musician, was at a book signing last week for his autobiography, Born to Run, at a bookstore in his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, when a meaningful encounter led to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing his enthusiasm for a possible concert by the Boss in the Holy Land.

Times of Israel reported that Amy Kalman, a resident of Jerusalem who made aliyah from Toronto more than 35 years ago, was fortunate enough to be online when free tickets to meet Springsteen at the NJ book-signing became available. A long-time fan of Springsteen, Kalman jumped at the chance, even though it meant flying from Israel to America just for the event. Each of the ticket holders would receive a singed copy of the book and get their photo taken with Springsteen.

“When we met, I said to him, ‘I just want you to know that I’ve flown in for the day from Israel,’” Kalman told The Times of Israel.

“And he said, ‘Well, that gets a hug.’”

Kalman explained, “I’d been thinking on the plane about, how could I say to him, nu, play in Israel already. But I didn’t get to say any of that because he immediately said, ‘I really need to play there.’”

“And I said, ‘Yes, you really do!’”

Then, Kalman said, she told Springsteen, “Thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams, music and love with so many people. And he said, ‘Thank you, I appreciate that.’ And by then, my time was over. I’d had my moment.”

Springsteen has never played a concert in Israel, and though he is not Jewish, he has had several Jewish band-mates, and his manager, Jon Landau, is Jewish. His guitarist and long-time friend, Steven Van Zandt, recently got into a widely publicized twitter battle in which he slammed the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling its supporters, “politically ignorant obnoxious idiots”.

When Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu read of the encounter, he enthusiastically tweeted “Hey Boss, I agree. We are waiting for you.”

It is interesting to note that if Springsteen does come to Israel and meets Netanyahu, they may have a lot to discuss. Springsteen is one month older than Netanyahu, both born in 1949, and they grew up quite near each other. Netanyahu attended high school near Philadelphia, just a one-hour drive from where Springsteen went to school, though neither attended their graduation. At the age of 18, they were both called up for induction into their respective armies. Though Springsteen was rejected and was not drafted to fight in Vietnam, Netanyahu served in an elite unit in the IDF for five years.