The ultra-Orthodox singer Avraham Fried – Channel 20

Since the outbreak of the corona, singer and creator Aviv Geffen has begun to approach the ultra-Orthodox public. It seems that the turning point in his attitude towards the ultra-Orthodox public was when he saw how they, as a group, were attacked around the first wave of illness.

In an interview he gave to Dana Weiss on News 12 at the time, he told in tears about a life-long experience he had during his performance in Corona: “I performed at ‘Shoni’ in an evening without an audience,” Geffen said of his live performance. They are not guilty.

“I get off the stage, and see 420 messages on my phone. I’m sitting on the steps. Someone passed on my number in Bnei Brak to all the residents. I read the messages and cry. At 4:00 (morning, RA) I was picked up and told – Go home”.

At this point in the interview Geffen cries again. “For years we learned how to hate the other,” Geffen said in an interview at the time. “He’s religious, he’s secular. And even I was already a soldier in this game. And suddenly I saw them.”

Aviv Geffen at Hutsot Hayotzer 2016. Photo: Nir Roitman

“Prevent the Ugly Divorce Between the Public”

You could say that since then Geffen has embarked on a unification campaign. In a podcast by Omri Caspi, Geffen said that “I have friends in Bnei Brak, nine people live in one small apartment. It is much easier for Corona there to move there.

“I was taught not to like them. They are thieves, they are responsible for the disease, they are responsible for Israel’s situation. I examined things and I stand by them. The unity between the secular and the religious must come. We have no choice – we are a small place with many currents, we must be together. There is no other way”.

Geffen accepted Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira’s invitation and arrived at his home in Bnei Brak. There he told about his Jewish roots and the bar mitzvah of his son Dylan. He said he was shocked to once hear one of his friends say ‘the corona is over, only the dossiers are dead’.

“It was a red light,” he said. “We’ve probably reached the low point of human relations between us. This is the most low-key and despicable talk in my eyes. We’re going to have something very dangerous here. This place is getting cracked, and I don’t want the ugliest divorce ceremony in human history here.”

He then stated: “I have decided that I will take on a mission in 2020-2021 to do everything in my power to connect. Not with hypocrisy and without populism. I am still considering and thinking how to do it, because our reality today requires approaching.

“At least in the near future I will donate all my strength and life so that the ultra-Orthodox-religious and secular audience will talk to each other. This is a wonderful example for our children. We need to be together again.”

The “Shabbat Square” website reports that Geffen arrives in Bnei Brak on Shabbat and holiday evenings with his associate Haim Gitler, to buy Jewish food and enjoy the unique atmosphere. Geffen testifies that he has ultra-Orthodox friends, and mentions his good friend Eviatar Banai who has repented and he has a fruitful dialogue with him and celebrates all the holidays with him.

Rain of drought

Now it’s probably time for musical unions as well. Aviv Geffen today posted a picture on Twitter of a new single called “Batzoret” with “BSD” written on the right side, and added only one word: “soon”.

At the same time, the successful Hassidic singer Avraham Fried, who in recent years has also performed cover versions of Israeli songs, uploaded the same photo to his Facebook, and wrote “Excited! Coming soon.”

Already at the beginning of the week, Aviv Geffen’s public relations people said that “by surprise and without prior notice, Aviv is expected to release a new and very surprising duet. This is something explosive that will make a crazy noise because it is something Aviv has not done to date.”

Uploading the photos together has revealed the identities of the two singers who are about to collaborate on a new single, which should reach your ears early next week.