Ten Ways in Which the "Selichot Season" Concert of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra Differs From a Concert Anywhere Else in the World
1. The concert begins when a world-famous clarinetist enters from the back row playing Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold), encouraging the audience to sing along.
2. In between musical pieces the aforementioned clarinetist uses his instrument to blast a Tekia, Shvarim, Truah, Tekia, sounding even better than a real shofar! (Could’ve fooled me.)
3. Three cell phones go off during the slow, quiet mandolin solo, destroying the audience’s rapt concentration.
4. Each time the conductor speaks (which is often), someone from the back row yells out “Lo shomim” (we can’t hear!!); and then someone from the front cries out, “Az lo tishmeu” (so you won’t hear!!).
5. The conductor announces that does not plan to pay the pieces in the program – as far as he is concerned, the program notes are entirely incidental.
6. In between movements, half of the audience claps, and the other half hisses at the clappers for this apparently egregious violation of concert etiquette.
7. The pianist inserts a few bars of Hatikva into the cadenza of Haydn’s piano concerto, and the audience members remain unfazed.
8. The clarinetist stamps his feet and begins dancing with wild Hasidic-like gestures during his solo.
9. The address of the theater, which happens (aptly) to be “5 Chopin St.,” is spelled “5 Shop-in St.” on the concert program. Shop in, stop in, drop in, and hear some music while you’re at it!
10. When the mandolin soloist is introduced, the conductor says that “not only is he the best mandolin player in the world – he is also single!”