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September 26, 2003 - Image 123

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

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Giving salad an

inferiority complex

Since 1993.

the 150 shows on seven stages around
the festival grounds.
Tabachnik feels the increase in the for-
eign contingent is a reflection of an
upswing in the national mood, despite
the collapse of the ceasefire between
Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
"There are more guests from abroad
this year. Last year we only invited musi-
cians we knew personally, who we knew
would come here. This year, a lot more
artists are willing to come to Israel," he
says.
The list of "imports" includes Irish
rockers the Commitments, England-
based chill-out king Raja Ram and
Indian sitar master Zamir Khan.
But Bereshit is about much more than
onstage entertainment.
In between the rock, hip-hop, reggae,
electronic and ethnic music, the milling
visitors will be able to take a break from
the rat race, and political-security con-
siderations, at dozens of holistic activi-
ties designed to smooth out any fur-
rowed brow, including workshops on
meditation, yoga and massage. There
also will be classes on the use of circular
breathing for playing the didgeridoo, as
well as pottery and painting sessions.
The target festival "clientele" also has
changed radically since Bereshit's advent
five years ago. While the initial gather-
ings mostly attracted 20-somethings
looking to recapture the spirit of the
East, these days Bereshit and its ilk also
cater to the young and not-so-young
parents with small children in tow.
The Sea of Galilee-side compound
will include a children's play area —
complete with babysitting services —
and children's theater.
The more traditional religious aspect
of the holiday period is also attended to
at Bereshit. All the New Age festivals in
Isra e l now have a synagogue and reli-
gious study sessions, and Bereshit offi-
cially marks the start of Rosh Hashanah
with a ceremony that includes shofar
blowing and chanting around a bonfire.
"This sort of ceremony has been tak-
ing place, in more or less the same for-
mat, for thousands of years," says
Tabachnik. "It is an ancient bond with
this land.
"It is a New Age thing, but it is a
Jewish New Age event. We never forget,
for one moment, that Rosh Hashanah is
a Jewish festival."



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123

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