Eden Golan, Israel’s participant in the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden who came in fifth place overall, arrives at Ben-Gurion International Airport on May 12, 2024. Photo courtesy Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.



Jewish Journal


In today’s cultural void, created by all-consuming political ideology and profound shallowness (cartoonishly filtered selfies, vapid “influencers,” incessant Instaporn), a soul of beauty has emerged to show the world that women still do have brains; creativity still exists; and Israel is still a light guiding us back to sanity.

An Inspiration

Israel’s Eurovision entrant Eden Golan seemed to emerge on the international stage fully formed, exuding not just immense talent but dignity, poise and almost ethereal grace. She made it to the finals despite nearly 20,000 protestors forcing her to stay in her hotel room all day and having to endure the truly loathsome behavior of the other contestants.

While all this was going on, I began to see a tiny yet significant shift in what young women post on Instagram. Endless selfies with varying degrees of clothing were suddenly interrupted by an image of Golan—a young woman singing, dancing and playing the piano. In one of her Instagram posts, Eden says that in her free time, she “writes, composes, produces music.”

It seems she has already begun to inspire young women to see themselves as more than merely plastic faces for guys to ogle and for other young women to envy—causing lethal levels of depression. After decades of regression, women may finally begin to remember the original point of feminism and the joy of creating something other than filtered photos.

Response To Oct. 7

Golan’s “Hurricane” is an exquisitely beautiful, transcendent song, and Eden and the dancers’ performance in the contest’s final show was literally a light in a sordid glorification of ugliness. Because ugliness is what happens when politics appropriates culture.

Originally called “October Rain,” the lyrics “they were all good children, each one of them” were deemed too “political” by the contest organizers. Meanwhile, many of the other songs followed woke politics to its crudest, most degrading extremes. Perhaps the organizers didn’t make the connection.

Nevertheless, Eden prevailed, both with viewers around the world and those of us who have listened to the song over and over. The song is so deeply beautiful that it has allowed us to truly cry—not just for Oct. 7 but for our ugly, hateful Oct. 8 world. In being able to touch our emotions so deeply, in a world obsessed with the feelings of everyone except Jews, Eden and the dancers, lyricists and composers have shown that they are true artists—true creators.

Indeed, through Eden, the world has been able to see who Israel is again. She skipped the opening gala to attend a Yom HaShoah ceremony with the besieged Jewish community of Malmö. She made her way through all the hypocrisy and ugliness with resilience and grace.

For Jews around the world, she has become a beacon of light after months of seemingly endless darkness; of unwavering truth amid the dizzying strobes of multifaceted lies. The light of Israel is 3,500 years old. The light of Eden is just 20. But it’s the same light. A sacred light that she fully embraced, illuminated and then radiated for the world.

A New Role?

Through social media, many of us have ignored, tarnished and desecrated the light within—all for the sake of vanity. But Israel’s light has never dimmed; it has continued to create a profound beauty that can barely be caught by cameras.

At Eurovision, Eden clearly showed our enemies that hate and violence only lead to darkness and destruction. But maybe Eden is also meant to steer the Jewish world away from the idolatry of self and status. To show us that true beauty comes from our souls and that self-idolization is as sordid as all other types of idolatry. In doing so, she will also be showing that Israel can again lead the way back, not just to a more ethical, truth-based world but to a depoliticized culture of deep, soulful beauty.

The song then becomes a challenge to each of us to take the “one small light” that’s still here and make it eternal.

Originally published by Jewish Journal.