When a Minnesotan went to Israel

Recent events have had me thinking about Minnesotans who visited Israel. I confess, I only know one, personally. But, over the years, one of Minnesota’s most famous sons has been a regular visitor.

As far as I can tell, Bob Dylan first visited Israel in the early 1970s. His embrace of Christianity in the late 1970s was followed by a turn towards his Jewish heritage. In 1983, he visited Israel again, allowing himself to be photographed there for the first time, including a shot at Jerusalem’s open-air synagogue wearing a yarmulkah, phylacteries, and tallith. Later that year, he released one of his best albums of an admittedly barren decade, Infidels. The back cover featured a moody shot of Dylan on a hill overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem.

Here is an alternate take of one of the tracks from the album, ‘Neighborhood Bully’.


John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment.