Observant Jews in Israel can’t get no satisfaction.
That was the mantra this week as word spread that the Rolling Stones will make their first-ever appearance in the Jewish state on June 4. The reason for the dissatisfaction: because the Tel Aviv show will begin just a few minutes after the end of Shavuot (Israelis keep one day of Shavuot, not two), which rules out attendance for most of those who observe the holiday.
Shuki Weiss, the legendary concert promoter who has said he’d retire once he succeeded in bringing the legendary rock band to Israel, is calling the concert a once-in-a-lifetime event.
To say Modern Orthodox and other observant fans, many of them immigrants from English-speaking countries, are peeved is a giant understatement.
Susan Taragin, who made aliyah from England many years ago, wonders why promoters so often disregard religious fans in their scheduling. There are many festivals and concerts scheduled for the three weeks leading up to Tisha b’Av, she noted, and the timing of the Stones’ concert seems incomprehensible.
Taragin said, “Do the organizers of pop events in Israel assume that religious Jews don’t attend concerts? I speak for plenty of friends who are very upset that Neil Young is performing here during the Three Weeks and the Rolling Stones just after Shavuot is ending.”
Religious Jews often refrain from attending entertainment events during the Three Weeks, a period of mourning.
“Anyone from Jerusalem would not be able to get to Tel Aviv in time for the concert. Can you not consider us as well, please?” Taragin asked.
Eliot Zimelman, an American who made aliyah years ago, said he and his wife are looking into renting an apartment or a hotel room in Tel Aviv, near the Stones’ concert venue, in order to keep Shabbat and attend the concert.
“That obviously raises the price for us,” he noted.
Asked at a press conference this week why he had not taken religious fans into consideration, Shuki Weiss replied, “We have coordinated discount hotel packages for ticket buyers, with some of the hotels nearby the Park (venue), in order to allow them … to walk to the Park for this historic event.”
Weiss promised to provide “more details” when tickets ($200-$820) go on sale.
And if observant Jews can’t make it, perhaps they should remember that, as Mick and friends might say, you can’t always get what you want.