Yuval Waldman, the Violinist Who Made Israeli Tank Operators Weep in the Sinai

March 1 2021

On February 1, the conductor and violinist Yuval Waldman—a protégé of Isaac Stern—died at the age of seventy-four. Besides being an accomplished performer, Waldman dedicated much of his energy to reviving the works of Jewish composers who were murdered in the Shoah, or whose work was suppressed by Soviet tyranny. Neil Genzlinger recounts some episodes from his remarkable life:

Vladimir Waldman was born on December 21, 1946, in Lvov, which was then part of the Soviet Union (and is now in western Ukraine, with the name usually rendered Lviv). He changed his first name to Yuval after the family had settled in Israel, taking the name of a figure from the Hebrew Bible associated with music.

In July 1973 Mr. Waldman interrupted his career to join the reserves of the Israel Defense Forces. Because of all of the languages he had mastered through his multinational upbringing and touring, he was assigned to the intelligence unit. His musical skills had gotten him assigned to the entertainment unit as well. When the Yom Kippur War broke out that October . . . he was assigned to play for tank units in Sinai.

Waldman’s son, [Ariel], said he told the story of the time he clambered onto a tank when a commander ordered him to play something to soothe the troops after a particularly intense bombing. He played Bach. Many in the unit were recent Moroccan immigrants to Israel and had not heard Bach before.

“My father remembered a moment when he was playing the Chaconne of Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Minor,” Ariel Waldman said, “and looked up to see tears streaming down their faces in the dust.”

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at New York Times

More about: Bach, East European Jewry, Jewish music, Moroccan Jewry, Music, Yom Kippur War

 

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank