Isramail - Israel Updates

Today in Isramail, a few Israel updates: 

Gal Gadot, an Israeli model and actress was chosen as the next … (drum roll)… WONDER WOMEN! And will be in the cinema in 2015 in the movie - Batman vs. Superman! Get excited! 

Omri Casspi, the Israeli basket player for the Rockets, just came back from a visit to the White House. Casspi said ahead of the event, “My mother is more excited than’s going to be fun. It’s a dream come true to be in the White House. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some people don’t ever experience that. To be able to go there and be able to tell my kids, whatever year I’ve got kids, that I’ve been there - it’s awesome.”

In a sadder note, Israel said goodbye to two huge icons last week,  Arik Einstein and Sephi Rivlin, who both passed away.

Arik Einstein was an Israeli singer, songwriter and actor. He was a pioneer of Israeli rock music and considered as maybe one of the greatest singers in Israeli history and an icon of humility, modesty and The Big Love of Israel. In 2005, he was voted the 22nd greatest Israeli of all time.

Despite a successful career, Einstein was the shy type and a homebody. In one of his songs, he sang that his greatest pleasure was staying home with a cup of lemon tea and his books. In 1982 he was hurt in a major car accident. His wife was also hurt, and another friend lost her life. Following the accident Einstein's eyesight, which was already myopic, got worse and he spent less and less time in public.

Einstein died at age 74. At the news of Einstein's death, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement describing his songs as the "soundtrack of Israel.” 

Sefi Rivlin was an Israeli actor and comedian. He was best known for his roles in "Nikui Rosh,” a satire program, and the children’s programs "Rega im Dodley" and "HaBayit Shel Fistuk."

Rivlin was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2007. In 2010, he announced that he was cured, but in 2012, he underwent further treatment that left him unable to speak. He died at the age of 66, although rumors of his death began to circulate earlier, after the death of Israeli singer Arik Einstein.

Reuven Rivlin, a member of the Israeli parliament and former speaker, said his twice-removed cousin was “a member of the generation that shaped the Israeli experience.” “Sefi was the most serious comedian I knew. Content was more important to him than presentation and performance,” he said. “His works and shows were so funny and moving that they brought us to tears. He was wonderfully adept at conveying messages to audiences of all ages.”

“I knew him as a man with a deep national consciousness, who loved his country and his people, who always had faith and who radiated warmth and the power of infinite empathy,” he said.

To finish on a happier note...a song by Arik Einstein called Me and You Will Change the World. The perfect song to commemorate the memory of these two giants that changed the world of so many Israelis, including me.