In May, my wife and I got a chance to see internationally renowned Israeli singer Noa perform at the 6th and I historic synagogue in downtown DC. Noa is a consummate performer, and it was such a pleasure to watch her sing and (at various times) play guitar, piano, and percussion. She was accompanied, as always, by her long-time musical collaborator, Gil Dor. Also joining her on this tour was Palestinian-Israeli singer Mira Awad. If you enjoy beautiful music, Hebrew lyrics, or skillful voice and guitar work, you owe it to yourself to pick up one of Noa's albums. (I suggest starting with this one.)
A funny thing happened to us at the concert that I had to blog about. We had purchased VIP tickets: for a mere $10 more we got to meet Noa in person before the show and sit in the front VIP section! After meeting Noa (and listening to Gil Dor talk about the European castle where they recorded their 1998 album "Calling"), we rushed upstairs to try to grab a good seat. The VIP section was already filling up--but amazingly the center row at the very front was still empty!
We briskly made our way down the aisle. When we got to the row, we noticed two white paper signs on the pew: one side said "VIP ticketholders only," and the other side said, "For the Israeli ambassador."
We seated ourselves right on top of the "VIP ticketholders only" sign and thanked God for such awesome seats. Then we amused ourselves by taking pictures of ourselves and of the ceiling dome (see above).
About five minutes to the start of the concert, we were getting really excited when a man in a black suit who had been hovering by the "Israeli ambassador" side of the pew came over to us. He said, "I'm really sorry to do this, but the ambassador is going to need to use this whole row. I'm going to have to ask you to move."
Feeling slightly crushed, we removed ourselves to the second row in one of the side sections (where thankfully we discovered that we still had a fantastic view). Sure enough, in a few minutes, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, walked in, accompanied by several friends or family members.
In a moment, Noa came out and put on an amazing show. Mira Awad is also a very talented singer: I never heard Arabic lyrics sung in the style of Leonard Cohen before--it was quite bewitching. At the end Mira joined Noa on stage to perform the songs they've collaborated on together, including their recent Eurovision hit "There Must Be Another Way."
All in all we had a great time. And our experience changing seats before the show reminded me of what Yeshua said in Luke 14:8-9:
When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your place to this person,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.If we had to give up our seats, at least it was for the ambassador!
Here are some videos of Noa and Mira. Enjoy!