1 Disturbed singer vacations in Israel on Wed 05 Jan 2011, 18:29
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Anyone attending pianist-singer/songwriter Ben Draiman’s show last week at the Off the Wall Comedy Club in downtown Jerusalem might not have given a second glance to the black-clad bald man watching intently.
If they had, and they were under 30, they would have recognized Ben’s brother David, who just happens to be the vocalist for one of the most popular hard rock bands in the US – Disturbed.
The elder, more famous Draiman frequently visits Israel to see his brother, grandmother and huge clan of relatives, the continuation of a life-long love affair with the country.
“I love it here, “ Draiman told me last week in Jerusalem, before he prepared to shoot down to Eilat for some scuba diving with his girlfriend, TV host and former pro wrestler Lena Yada, who was making her first visit to the country.
“I told her to take the most confident Greek and Italian men and put them together, and you’d have an Israeli guy,” he said.
The exotic-looking Yada would undoubtedly have no problem fending off aggressive would-be-suitors. And based on the glances from pedestrians and missed green lights by motorists that occurred when she crossed the street outside her hotel to run into a boutique at the Mamilla Mall, there would be lots of suitors.
Draiman, who spent a year studying in a yeshiva in Jerusalem after high school, remains an ardent Zionist and said he’s constantly defending Israel and his Jewish faith, with his words, and if need be, with his fists. He described encounters with anti-Semites and skinheads, some of which ended up in discussion and some in non-verbal interaction.
Growing up in an observant environment at five different Jewish day schools/yeshivot, Draiman excelled in hazzanut and studies, but rebelled at the religious conformity and was eventually asked to leave each institution.
While no longer observant, he was confident that with a little brushing up, he could lead the High Holiday services from beginning to end with no problem. So if any shuls are looking for a second rabbi/cantor next year, here’s your man.