Even if it’s only the sum of all the times I have watched it, this video is going viral. Watch it for yourself and I dare you not to want to watch it again. Here’s a link to an edited version of the original broadcast in Hebrew, with subtitles.
But the reasons it’s going viral are far more than just because this young woman has an incredible voice. We are accustomed to TV reality shows where regular people perform in front of judges to play out a dream to win a competition, if not to launch a career. We are accustomed to see videos like this going viral. That’s not new. Shows like this are a hit because we can live vicariously through the dreams of others, and even if we don’t have a beautiful voice, build up our own dreams. It’s also special to see someone who’s been given the gift of an incredible voice excel on stage, on national TV. It’s inspiring, it gives us hope, makes us happy.
As much as Israel is unique in so many ways, there are many ways in which Israel is just like every other country, like the vision of Zionist leader Theodor Herzl. That’s the case with the abundance of TV reality shows making their way to Israel, often with their own unique Israeli twist.
But this video and this experience are unique, even in a country like Israel that’s unique in so many ways. It’s the sum of many elements that makes it special, making national news at home and going viral abroad.
Some of the obvious reasons this is a hit include that the young woman, Eden, is young and pretty. But not just that. She’s charming and poised. She expresses sincere emotion and modesty. She exchanges fun banter with the judges.
When asked at the opening to tell the judges about herself, the first thing she says is, “I’m Ethiopian.” This receives a huge applause from the audience. She shows pride in her family history and ethnic origin despite being made to feel different as a child by people who are less tolerant. When asked after the performance for instance what she eats on a day to day basis, she says “injera,” an Ethiopian bread. Despite Israel having people who don’t celebrate Israel’s ethnic diversity, or are more intolerant (sadly another…