Skip To Content

LISTEN: Arik Einstein’s Yiddish Song “Meydele”

This article originally appeared in the Yiddish Forverts.

Arik Einstein was the single most important figure in the rise of Israeli rock-music, as important to Israelis as Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and the Beatles were to Americans.

Although known exclusively for his songs in Hebrew, Einstein did record one song in Yiddish in 1971, a love song called “Meydele” (Girl). Einstein wrote the song’s lyrics and composed its music, which sounds indistinguishable from popular American rock songs of the era. One could be forgiven for thinking it comes from a parallel universe in which the Holocaust had never happened and Yiddish singers in 1970s Warsaw or Vilnius imitated American musical forms.

Einstein professionally recorded “Meydele” in a studio and performed it at several concerts, but it was never included on one of his albums.

Yiddish was one of Einstein’s mother tongues. His father, the well-known Yiddish and Hebrew stage actor Jacob Einstein, spoke to Arik primarily in Yiddish. Jacob wanted his son to become an actor like himself, but young Arik dreamed of being a professional athlete instead. Later in life he would partially fulfill his father’s wish and take to the stage himself, as a singer.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.