Top Israeli Balladeer is Fan of Jesus

Sunday, September 30, 2012 |  Aviel Schneider

“Jesus has always fascinated me,” singer and songwriter Ehud Banai said in an interview with Israel’s biggest newspaper Yediot Ahronot.

Under the headline, “THE BOY IS 60,” Banai discussed the milestones in his life and in Israeli music. The headline was a play on words on one of his most famous songs, The Boy Is 30, a nostalgic ballad about leaving childhood behind. Even though he became more and more religious over the past 30 years, the legendary singer has a loyal secular following. In the interview, the Orthodox Jew explains how he became a Jesus fan.

"All of us would like to be successful abroad, wouldn’t we? And who else would have achieved this in a better way than Jesus? Internationally, He is the most successful Israeli," said Banai. "Jesus was a revolutionary who never crossed Israel’s borders to go abroad and who spoke the ‘language of the Hebrew Man’ [the name of one of his songs]. He carried out his ministry for three years and His message reached Rome, London, America and Africa. Everywhere I go and I see the churches, I tell myself: Whoever started this [religion] has to be one of us! I often wonder why Jesus is not regarded as one of Israel’s prophets or wise men. Everything started with a young man from Galilee who stood on a hill and preached."

The full article appears in the October 2012 issue of Israel Today Magazine.
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