Archive for May 28th, 2009

Rahm, Bruce, and Hava Nagila

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Jeffrey Goldberg, reporter for the Atlantic, has the scoop of the century on his blog. According to Goldberg, Bruce Springsteen played Hava Nagila at his Washington, DC concert last week — thanks in large part to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Here’s a link to the story.

As Goldberg tells it, a guy named Clifford Mendelson, who had recently met Bruce, went to the concert holding a “Hava Nagila” sign — urging Springsteen to play it. I’ve been to a dozen or more Springsteen shows, and can safely attest to the fact that normally, people show up with “Rosalita” or “Murder Incorporated” or “Jungleland” signs. This might have been a first.

Anyway, Rahm saw the sign, and loved it, and handed it up to NY Times columnist David Brooks, who handed it to a Secret Service agent, who handed it up to Bruce on stage. Springsteen loved it, too, and promptly played it! Here’s the priceless YouTube video.

As Goldberg writes:

There are those in Israel who say that Rahm is insufficiently zealous in his Jewishness. I think Mendelson’s story is an appropriate response to such a charge.

Or, as Springsteen might put it: Rahm believes in the promised land!

(Cross-posted on NJDC’s blog here.)