Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pedestrian Mall and the Star

On Tuesdays and Fridays, the pedestrian zone of Nachlat Benyamin street in Tel Aviv, turns into a colourful, lively, open mall with artists selling their original handicrafts, with musicians and pantomime entertainers performing their magic shows, with cute cafes and restaurants feeding the visitors, with lots of people wandering among the stands looking for gifts to buy or just contemplating the crafts on display, and absorbing the special atmosphere of the place.

The pedestrian zone of Nachlat Binyamin street is located between Carmel Market and Alenby street. At the meeting point of these three sites , one could watch the singing performance of Miri Aloni (60), a former star with a superb, powerful voice who has become during the last decade a street singer. She accompanies her Hit songs with guitar playing; people watch, listen and put coins and bills into the box placed near her.

Miri Aloni first came to be noticed in the Sixties. She was then the soloist of one of the army regimental bands, The Nachal Band. She had a captivating voice, good looks, great talent, and so, following her success during her army service , she became one of the greatest israeli pop and rock stars. But something happened to her on the way to consolidating her stardom. After a very promising start and a certain period of glory there began a decline in her career. According to the gossip columns in the newspapers it was 'cherchez l'homme'- look for the man in her life. It was said that she was attracted to the wrong type of men who suppressed her personality and damaged her professional carreer.

Anyway, in november 1995 she became well-known abroad too due to a tragic event - the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhac Rabin at a peace gathering held at the Municipality square of Tel Aviv. She was on the stage singing together with Rabin and the foreign minister Peres her famous song Shir La Shalom (Song for Peace); minutes later, Rabin was assassinated. In interviews to the Media during the ensuing years she claimed that she was not happy being associated with tragedy and complained that this association had deteriorated her career and her ability to make a living.

Miri Aloni should be appreciated not only for her vocal performance but also for her tough character. Not everyone in her position would have survived this transition from concert halls to street corners.


  1. Thank you for sharing this today Duta. What a beautiful woman, and wonderful talent. I hope for her that somehow she might find work in a concert hall again.

  2. Lovely lady with a wonderful voice. Thanks for sharing her story.

  3. I can't imagine what it would like to have being in the midst of a political assination a defining moment in one's life...

  4. I pray that this beautiful vocalist finds her way back to the concert halls. What a tragic event for her.

    God bless and have a beautiful day sweet Duta!!!

  5. What a beautiful woman. What a beautiful voice. Sad as it is that her career has put her on the street corner maybe it's a good thing that now hundreds can see her for free instead of only the few that could afford her concerts. Thanks for sharing this video, her voice what joyful!

  6. This is such a powerful story of a passionate woman's life. I love reading about life in your area of the world. May her life be blessed.

  7. These lovely open markets are organized in many cities of the world and are so beautiful and useful!

  8. This lady has a wonderful voice and obviously has a lot of character,I hope she makes it back to the big time.
    Thanks for sharing her story with us.

  9. A strange and stirring story, Duta. I do know a very talented pianist that due to a lot of personal tragedy now busks in the malls. She attracts hundreds of people - many who weep upon hearing her play. She has said in media she will never work anywhere but the street as that is where the most people hear her work. xx

  10. Such a shame! D: Love is really blind I guess!
    Why is it that some people need to ruin others' people's life...

  11. Jennifer,

    There is and should always be Hope for a change in Better for anyone and for her too.


    I'm glad the video offers snaps of some of her great songs performed by her at different stages in life. You're welcome to enjoy it.


    It was a nightmare for those present at the Peace Rally where the leader was assassinated. It's a trauma people carry for years.


    Tragic indeed. She was at the scene of the crime. God bless you too, Nezzy!


    That's what she says too in interviews. She likes it that nothing separates between her and her listeners.Her singing is for the people.

  12. I always look forward to your posts Duta! It is interesting to learn about other areas thru someones eyes rather than a textbook. You always captivate my attention. This is such a tragic story. She is such a beautiful lady and her Wish I could understand the words, but still you can tell she was passionate about her music. She sings from the heart! Thanks for sharing.

    until next time... nel

  13. Ronda Laveen,

    Yes, eveything is powerful and passionate about her: her voice, her performance, her character, her personla life.

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    You're right. Open markets and pedestrian malls are to be found in many cities of the world, and they play an important part in the creation of a special atmosphere in those places.


    She has changed physically, but her voice hasn't betrayed her; it is still great.

    Josephine Tale Peddler,

    I believe there are many cases of artists like the pianist and like our singer who due to circumstances they had to accept a life of less fame and recognition.

    Pink Panther,

    There are indeed Loves that are destructive to both partners, and men that never want to loose complete control over their woman.


    Thank you for your kind words. To enjoy her music one needs not understand the language; it's universal.

  14. An intriguing lady, and I would love to know more about her so an Internet search methinks! Thankyou once more, Duta, for an interesting post, and I hope this lady finds her way through to better times.

  15. What an interesting story. She is so talented!

  16. What a beautiful voice. The story is quite tragic on so many levels. I can't believe that it's been 15 years since the assassination. Thanks for sharing this story Duta.

  17. An interesting bit of history. She does have a beautiful voice.

  18. Awesome talent and beauty. In spite of what happened to her she still use her talent to make others happy.
    May she continue to shine.

  19. Vera,

    "intriguing" is the accurate word to describe her.


    She's multitalented; she has also appeared in several plays as an actress.

    Pinecone Camp,

    Yes, 15 years since that terrible evening of the assassination, and Her being at the sceno of the crime.


    I totally agree with you about the voice, She has changed with the years, but not her voice.


    No doubt, life has taught her many lessons. Any way, I hope she never gives up singing.

  20. duta,
    thanks for sharing this touching story...

  21. jyothsethu,

    You're welcome. It's one of these stories whose each of its 'ingredients' touches our soul.

  22. Ah the street fair sounds like such fun. I would love to wander around just taking in the sights of talented people. And how fun it must be to try different foods. I imagine it is very colorful and loud, busy and fun.

  23. Beautiful young and more mature versions of the same talented woman. Her voice is phenomenal. Too bad she has suffered setbacks and tragedy in her life. Good for her for continuing to sing. Thank you for bringing her into our attention.

  24. Cheryl,

    Right. The street fair is great fun. It has a special atmosphere, and it's a delight to wander among the stands of the craftsmen.


    Welcome and Thank you. I hope you've enjoyed reading my post.

    C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    The video presents the singer at different points in her career. It shows her physically changed with the years, but the voice is unchanged.

  25. This appears to be a fun way to spend a nice day outdoors. I love to see what others imagination make into objects. etc. As for the lady she does have a nice voice and her story is sad concerning the men in her life but she is a survivor. Peace

  26. Soooooo interesting and so much to learn - thank you !!!

  27. Lady Di Tn,

    I totally agree with your comment. And yes, she's a Survivor , and that's great!

    Ballet News,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you find my post interesting.

  28. What a beautiful, truly melodious voice she has. Sad that she has tragic taste in men, but at least she has a reliable gift.

    I'm sorry her career did not turn out particularly well, but I have to admit I winced slightly at her words about being associated with Rabin's assassination.

    No one would ever wish to be associated with such a tragedy, but as for it hurting her career? Perhaps she would do well to have better taste both in men and perspective. After all, being that closely associated with a man's life cut brutally and tragically short, while inconvenient, still leaves her by far the luckier in the association.

  29. Land of Shimp,

    If I remember correctly, she was referring somewhat indirectly to her "tragedy". After being on the same stage with Rabin, Peres, and other VIP, at that terrible event, she thought she had some kind of monopoly on the "Song for Peace". For some reson, afterwards, whenever there was some important ceremony it was not she who got invited to perform the song, but other singers. She felt it was a deadly blow to her career. I think any singer in her position would have felt the same.

  30. Wow! What an amazing story. It's touching to the very core. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Susan R. Mills,

    Welcome to my blog! Thank you for the comment.

  32. Hi Duta,
    Thanks for coming by. I will have to try listening a little later, I got an error message on the youtube player!

    Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the mighty; nor even bread to the wise; nor even riches to the men of discernment; nor even favor to knowing men. For time and occurrence happen to them all.

    The difference is in what we do with it.

  33. Dimple,

    Thanks for the beautiful passage from Ecclesiastes. It's very enlightening. Hope you'll get to watch the Youtube video.

  34. What a sad turn in the life of the singer -hope she will shine again (in one of another way)!

  35. jeannette,

    One never knows, maybe her glorious days will come back to her in some way or another.
    In the meantime she's doing her best to survive.