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Dylan and the Jews

A visit to Kibbutz Ein Dor

Back in the 1970s, Dylan visited kibbutz Ein Dor, located at the foot of Mount Tabor, on the road between Afula and Tiberias.

He came as a guest of banjo player David Yellin who was at the time a member of the kibbutz.

It was a low key visit, Yellin walked Dylan around a bit. Some of the older members who met him were not unduly impressed -- they didn't know who he was.

Here is how Yellin recalls the visit:

"I have known Bob from the early 60's when we both lived in Greenwich Village in New York. (Even before he had made his first record.)

"He was feeling his Jewish roots and was very pro-Israeli at that point in his life. He visited Israel . . . I believe he gave a concert or two, one at a kibbutz in the north, but I'm not sure. I don't remember the date but I think it was in the early 70's. He came to see me and spent a Shabbat afternoon with me, mostly in my room. I did take him for a short tour of the kibbutz including the bet yeledim where my daughter was sleeping. He was impressed by kibbutz life but was mostly concerned, in general, about security issues in Israel.

"I'd like to be able to tell you more but that's about all I remember (other than personal things) at this point.

Knocked Out at the Kotel

In the summer of 1983, Dylan visited Israel and was famously photographed wearing tefilin -- leather straps and boxes worn during Jewish prayer -- at the Western Wall (known in Hebrew as the Kotel Hamaravi.)

A source relates the following story:

"I was at the Kotel and I bumped into someone, knocking him over. I do that a lot -- I'm a big guy and I move fast. I bent down to help the man up, and I noticed it was Dylan. He was wearing tefilin. He kissed his prayerbook, and went back to what he was doing."

Forward to a look at Dylan's tours and set lists.
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Created and copyright by Larry Yudelson, publisher of YudelLine: One Jew's News and Views and RadioHazak: Israeli Music on the Internet. Send suggestions and comments to larry at yudel.com. © 1991-2008.