Rock star Aviv Geffen, almost an icon of the left-wing Tel Aviv crowd, isn’t known for his warm feelings for religious people.
But something in his thinking shifted after receiving 420 messages from Bnei Brak residents who thanked him for his unexpected public support. He was moved to tears and shed tears again when speaking about the experience in a TV interview.
The story began when Gefen gave a live virtual performance and on the spur of the moment decided to dedicate a song to the residents of Bnei Brak.
Gefen described what happened during an interview with Channel 12: “At a live virtual performance, I said – I didn’t prepare beforehand – ‘they’re not guilty [for the high rate of infections in their community]. They believe in Hashem and I believe in Google.’”
“I left the stage and I see – I’m not exaggerating – 420 messages. Someone passed on my phone number to Bnei Brak, to all the residents there. I read the messages and I started crying.”
Meanwhile, as Gefen described how he cried when he read the messages, he was again overcome with emotion and began crying during the interview.
The interviewer responded: “You cried about what you thought about them and now suddenly they’re touched by you and they’re embracing you? On the pain of the rift? Can you tell us why you cried and why you’re crying now?”
“Before for years I learned how to hate the other,” Gefen replied. “He’s religious, he’s secular. And although I also played this game…suddenly I saw them.”
It should be mentioned that Aviv is the son of Yehonatan Geffen, an Israeli author with extreme left-wing leanings whose writings have been so provocatively critical of his own religion and country at times that he’s received death threats.