Daily Israel Report

Free Sukkot Concert on Mt. Zion with Aharit Hayamim Hai

Samet refers to the band's eclectic style as "a combination of Carlebach, klezmer, traditional hassidic music and reggae."
By Ben Bresky
First Publish: 10/14/2011, 12:06 AM

Aharit Hayamim Hai, the popular Israeli world-beat band will again be headlining the Simchat Beit Hashoeva concert on Mount Zion in Jerusalem on Sukkot.

"People told me it reminded them of the old days with the Diaspora Yeshiva Band," said band manager Moshe Cornfeld. He and event coordinator Shlomo Samet spoke to Israel National News about the concert. Samet echoed the sentiments stating, "Back in the 1970's, Mount Zion was the place to be for music. We're bringing it back." 

But the roots of Simchat Beit Hashoeva of course go back farther then that. Translated from Hebrew as "the joy of the water", it was a musical event with singing and dancing that preceeded the water libation ceremony during Sukkot in the times of the First and Second Holy Temple. 

According to the Mishnah (Tractate Sukkah), "He who has not seen the rejoicing at Simchat Beit HaSoevah has never seen rejoicing in his life." Samet jokingly ammended the text, "whoever has never seen Simchat Beit Hashoeva on Mount Zion has never seen rejoicing in his life." 

The Mount Zion area is located just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is home to the tomb of King David and also home to the Diaspora Yeshiva, known as the first yeshiva that catered to baal teshuvah students, those that did not grow up religious. In the late 1960's and 1970s they became known for their Jewish rock concerts featuring the Diaspora Yeshiva Band, one of the first group to incorporate a rock and roll style with Jewish themes and sounds. 

Today the yeshiva, in conjunction with a new organization called Music N' Art at King David  is bringing back the musical atmosphere to the neighborhood.

Chaim David, the veteran Jewish singer will open up the show with his well-known brand of high energy folk rock hassidic music. The golden voiced Ben Benet, a young Israeli hazzan will also perform. Benet is an up and coming star in the world or cantorial music. 

The final act will be Aharit Hayamim Hai, hailing from Gush Etzion. A perennial favorite known for their street performances and colorful attire, they feature the usual guitar, percussion, and bass but also incorporate saxophone, clarinet, oud, sitar, keyboards and shofar. Samet refers to the band's eclectic style as "a combination of Carlebach, klezmer, traditional hassidic music and reggae."

The event will be free and open to the public. Monday, October 17 from 7:00pm - 11:30pm. The concert will be held outside the Diaspora Yeshiva by King David's Tomb, adjacent to the Zion Gate. For more information visit 
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=262028957169544

For a past article about Aharit Hayamim Hai click here.
For a past podcast about Music N Art at King David click here.

Ben Bresky is a music journalist and host of the Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast on Arutz Sheva - Israel National Radio. For show archives click here.