Idan Raichel and India.Arie: The ‘Gift of Acceptance’

Tonight Israeli musician Idan Raichel will apppear in concert alongside the poetess India.Arie at The Broad Stage.

I’ve been an Idan Raichel fan for a long time. He has both a gift for creating beautiful music and the courage to spread a message. He preaches universalism, the power of shunning labels and celebrating humanity. In “The Gift of Acceptance,” a collaboration with Arie, he plays piano while she sings:

“They call you Israeli and they call me American/ I look at you and I don’t see your country, I just see my friend/ I pray we’re in each other’s lives for a long long time. Cause I honor your choices and you honor mine.

Today was a sad day in the Jewish world. Reports of the untimely death of 8-year-old Leibby Kletzky, mutilated and murdered at the hands of Levi Aron in Brooklyn, NY, make the artists’ words even more potent: “We all want the same things from life,” Arie sings. “We want peace and love and prosperity. But can we give up our need to be right?”

Sometimes, events occur that should only be mourned, not judged.

No doubt, there will be those who point fingers. It’s easier to believe such tragedy could have been prevented, controlled. But the murder of an innocent child is an inexplicable act. His family needs support, not blame.

“Give the world a present. Give the gift of your acceptance,” Arie sings.

The video of the Raichel/Arie recording is below, which I love not only for its lyricism but because they spend a good deal of time in the kitchen, one of the central loci of love, family and community. As Jewish Journal editor-in-chief Rob Eshman wrote on his Foodaism blog, “Food is not just intricately tied to eating, but also to culture, politics and spirituality; to the health of our bodies as well as to the health of our planet.”

So cheers to acceptance and alimentary blessing. 

My 2007 interview with Idan Raichel:

Raichel and Arie play ‘Acceptance’: