As a young child my mom used to force me to go to classical music concerts. I am the only person in my family that doesn't play an instrument and while my sister has absolute hearing I am musically deaf more or less. None the less my mom insisted we both me and my sister listen to classical music and know the bios of the great composers. She had two methods of making sure this goal is reached - first she got me and her a subscription for 10 classical concerts a year (together with a friend of hers who had a girl a bit older than me) and forcing me and my sister to watch 3 hour documentaries about all the great composers (we had a set of video tapes of this at home).
After a while our joined subscription became two single one's - me and my mom's friend's daughter use to go alone (given we would talk a lot among ourselves but we would also listen) and I grew up to be a documentary freak.
This long intro is meant to explain why the two moment in my life when I felt most proud of my Israeli nationality and my Jewish heritage are connected directly to music.
The fist moment was when I was working in TOP communications where my first client was the Klezmer festival in Zefad. This yearly festival brings together Klezmer musicians, young and old, from all over the word - many of whom come in order to meet the one and only Klezmer master: the great Giora Feidman. In spite of the fact I didn't get to study music from the master - I did get to meet him and work with him. Meeting him was a pleasant experience in it self and hearing him play was magical. I heard him play several times during the festival in Zefad but the one time I remember most took place in Jerusalem.
As a parliamentary event to the festival maestro Feidman played at Yad VaShem (world center for
Holocaust Research, Documentation, Education and Commemoration) - Valley of Communities. The Valley is a massive 2.5 acre monument literally dug out of the natural bedrock. The names of over 5,000 Jewish communities that were destroyed or barely survived in the Holocaust are engraved on its 107 walls. The reason why this event was so moving to me is because I managed to get 3 tickets for it - one for me, one for my grandmother and one for my grandfather. Both my grandparents are Holocaust survivors from the Ukraine and they ave lost many of their family members during the war.
Being able to stand with them at Yad VaShem, where our family members are commemorated in the archives (including my grandfather's father who was, according to eye witnesses killed by the Nazis while serving in the Red army), listening to Jewish soul music was amazing. I have never felt so close to my Jewish history as I did at that moment.
The second moment was when I was working at TLV consulting group as part of a wonderful team that was in charge of fundraising for the Israeli Opera back in 2011. Not only was I lucky enough to sit in the first raw of the VIP section as part of my job (pic bellow) but I was also lucky enough to hear the great conductor Danial Oren conduct Ha Tikva (the Israeli anthem). I heard my national anthem many times before and in different constellations but when the crowds stood up on the tribunes in Messda (where in 60 AC more then 1000 Jews committed suicide in order to avoid falling into Roman hands according to Josephus Flavius) it was a moment to remember.