Arik Einstein (1939-2013) was one of the most prominent, influential, and beloved singers and actors in Israeli history. In his youth, Einstein, the son of Ha’Ohel Theatre actor Yaakov Einstein, was an athlete who for ten years held the Israeli high jump youth record. However, his poor eyesight ultimately scuppered his dreams of serving in the IDF as a sport instructor and instead, he ended up enlisting with the military musical troupe, The Nahal Band (Einstein sang on many of the band’s most successful hits and is especially remembered for the song, Ruach Stav [‘autumn wind’] on which he sang lead vocals.) After completing his military service, Einstein teamed up with his fellow Nahal band alumni including Uri Zohar and Chaim Topol and formed the theatre and entertainment troupe, Batzal Yarok (‘the green onion band’). When the troupe later disbanded, Einstein went on to appear in a string of variety shows and in theatre, including the stage productions of Little Old Tel Aviv at the Hammam Club, and in Irma la Douce and Billy Liar at Israel’s national Habima Theatre.
In 1963, Einstein teamed up with Yehoram Gaon and Benny Amdursky to form The Yarkon Bridge Trio. Following their debut show, Gaon quit the band and was replaced with Israel Gurion. The reconstituted ensemble went to work on their next show and of the two that were given subsequent album releases, standout tracks included Ahavat Po’alei Binyan (‘construction workers’ love’), Siman Sheata Tzair (‘a sign that you’re young’), Ayelet Ahavim (‘gazelle of love’) and many more. In 1967, Einstein formed The High Windows trio with fellow folk-rockers, Shmulik Kraus and Josie Katz. The band would only record one album but the songs on it – including Einech Yechola (‘you can’t’), Yehezkel (Ezekiel), Kol Hashavua Lach (‘the whole week to you’), Zemer Noga (‘sombre song’) and many others – all remain canonical in Israeli culture to this day. All the while, Einstein was nonstop at work, recording a string of solo albums.
In the late 1960s, Einstein began a collaboration with singer-songwriter Shalom Hanoch – this creative partnership resulted in the albums Mazal Gdi (‘star sign capricorn’), Shablul (‘snail’) and Plastelina (‘plasticine’) which featured some of Einstein’s all-time greatest hits including Hagar, Mekofef Ha’Bananot (‘the banana bender’), Kach Lecha Isha (‘take yourself a woman’), Ma Ata Ose Ksheata Kam Baboker (‘what do you do when you get up in the morning’), Ma Iti (‘what about me’) and many more. About the same time, a group of artists – including musicians, actors, and filmmakers – began hanging out with Einstein and his close friend, Uri Zohar. That collective became the Lul Group. Together, they all created the TV programme, Lul (‘coop’).
After Shalom Hanoch went to the UK, Einstein began collaborating with other musicians including Miki Gavrielov and Yoni Rechter and until his death in 2013, he carried on releasing a nonstop string of hits – all of which earned a permanent place in Israeli society’s collective soundtrack.
As an actor, Einstein appeared in some of the most beloved and often-quoted Israeli films in the country’s history, none more so than his collaborations with Uri Zohar on the first two films in the latter’s Tel Aviv Trilogy, Peeping Toms (1972) and Big Eyes (1974). Some of his other film credits include Nini (Shlomo Suriano, 1963), Dalia and the Sailors (Menahem Golan, 1964), Sallah (Ephraim Kishon, 1964), Shablul (Boaz Davidson, 1970), and Kvalim (‘cable’) (Tzvi Shissel, 1992).


Big Eyes

Directed by Uri Zohar, 1973
עיניים גדולות
Rental English subs.

81 min.




2 min.


The Snail

Directed by Boaz Davidson, 1970
Rental English subs.

80 min.

Narrative Short

How Wonderful

Directed by Amos Kenan, 1969
כמה זה נפלא
English subs.

14 min.


Dalia and the Sailors

Directed by Menahem Golan, 1964
דליה והמלחים

108 min.

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