To understand the light, we must understand the dark. For me, the dark is what people experience when they have lost their way on the long road of life. It happens to all of us. We lose our center and feel we have nothing to lean on. We do not see the way to the future and our very presence feels fragile as we lose our connection to our roots.
But it is important to note that at these times, we find ourselves in darkness, not blackness. In the darkness, we can still see shadows. We need determination, perseverance, and a willingness to get bumped and bruised, but the darkness allows us to pursue a path forward.
I am especially fortunate. If I find myself stumbling into the darkness, I know what to do. I access my “light seeker” – music. Not just any music. I am best able to seek the light through folk music. Folk music has the unique ability to connect people to their roots, to their history, to their culture. It connects me to what it is to be an Israeli, to be Jewish. I am connected to my ancestors in Europe’s shtetls and to ancient ancestors on the shore of the Red Sea.
Music gives me other connections as well. I travel the world, and music brings extraordinary people into my life, from Mali to Colombia to Russia to China. Their energy fuels my spirit and keeps me moving forward on my life’s path.
All of these connections give me strength; they bring fire to my soul.
And where there is fire there is light.
Idan Raichel is one of Israel’s most popular singer songwriters known for his distinctive fusion of electronics, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian music. www.idanraichelproject.com