i heart herzlBecause I enjoy Bob Dylan and Theodor Herzl juxtaposed (but not as much as Laya does), I thought I’d share this JTA article about Jerusalem’s new Herzl Museum.

Apparently (unlike Raymond) not everyone loves Herzl:

Hebrew University historian Rachel Elbuiam Dror says that in official Israeli circles, Herzl remains what she calls “the Zionist icon” — the man who helped create the Jewish state. But younger people, expressing themselves in music, film and popular culture, challenge that image: They are unwilling to put Herzl on a pedestal, above reproach or question.

In a popular song by the Israeli rap group Dag Nachash, “The Zionist hip-hop,” the lead singer imagines confronting Herzl. He tells Herzl of “all the details of the cruel and tough reality of Israel/I told him of the traffic accidents/And I told him about the handicapped people on strike/And I told him about the quarter-million unemployed/And I told him about the corrupt politicians/Herzl did not respond, only smiled widely putting his hand into his pocket/I tried to tell him there’s no peace and there is no security and that I’m fed up of living in constant fear/Herzl put a tablet on my tongue and said ‘If you swallow it, it won’t be a dream.’ ”

“If you swallow it, it won’t be a dream.” Unfortunately, that famous line was cut from the original script of “The Matrix.”

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.


  • Herzl would have told him after taking the pill, put on some psy trance,bust out the glo stix… .Please

  • Way to look at the Zionist glass half empty!

    Traffic accidents, corrupt politicians, strikes. Dude, that’s like, Herzl’s dream. To have a real, living and breathing Jewish state, and that includes the crap as well as the glory. It wasn’t meant to be Gan Eden.

    As far as the security situation, as much as it totally sucks, the number of jews killed in every single conflict in the history of the state has yet to equal the number of Jews killed in one day of Auschwitz at its highert level of “efficiency”, so like lets have some perspective mr. rapper dudes.

    And I still heart Herzl big time. He was such a showman. Selling a product before there was a product. Organizing a congress to herald a movement that had yet to begin and getting the biggest names in Europe to attend. He made prophesy happen because he didn’t believe in the concept of impossible. His life is this endlessly fascinating portrait or a passionate, driven individual who was at all times on the cusp of being mad or genious. And that’s my favorite kind of all.

  • It’s worth pointing out in this post what a genius of image manipulation ck is. Thank Jeebus he uses his powers for good…

  • Jewlicious cola has been around since the beginning. It really needs to be its own T shirt, but there may be copy right issues, who knows. But yes, ck generally only uses his powers for good, or for awesome.

  • Why is this song any different from protest songs like the “Abraham, Martin, and John” and “Give me Hope Johanna?”

    The rapper is taking Herzl as a shorthand symbol for Israel – what else should Herzl be in a pop song? Especially a rap song.

    You want 70’s style songs about Herzl as a Tel-Aviv beach boy maybe?

    Perfectly legit rhetorical and dramatic device.

    Can we all lay off the breast-beating…

  • I agree that the “chose your reality” theme of the Matrix is quite relvant to Herzl’s life story.

    He saw that something wasn’t quite right with reality as he and his contemporaries percieved it. This experience and this experience alone defined his choices from that point on.

    He embarked on a journey to make things right and remained totally clueless as to where this all leads and just how far down the rabbit hole goes.

    In the end, he get’s swallowed up into and probably forgotten by the reality he discovered and even helped to shape.

    I think he was The One.

  • Hertzl never had rose colored glasses. He was aware of the reality of the day, and certainly knew that a State of Israel would be saddled with many problems that all other States have.

    Dag, if that is what they are called, owe Hertzl a hakaras hatov.

    Our societies are as imperfect as the people that inhabit them.

    G-d has strange ways that the Dag, nor us mere mortals will understand.