Hugh Laurie, the accomplished actor, comedian, novelist and blues musician known most famously in the U.S. for playing the lead role in the hit television drama series “House” is widely reported to be an atheist.
That didn’t stop him from invoking the Almighty when asked a question by an Israeli reporter on Twitter.
A concert date in Israel in July to promote Laurie’s second album “Didn’t It Rain” was posted earlier this week on his band’s website and reported in the Israeli media, but fans were mystified when shortly after, the event disappeared from the musical ensemble’s list of upcoming events. Several Israeli fans posted queries on the Hugh Laurie Blues Facebook page asking what had happened.
Israeli journalist Shaul Amsterdamski of the newspaper Calcalist on Tuesday asked Laurie via Twitter if it was true that he would indeed be performing in Raanana, a Tel Aviv suburb.
Laurie tweeted in response, “Im yirtzeh hashem” which in Hebrew means “God willing.”
Here was there exchange:
The Hebrew website Walla reported that park officials confirmed that the date of July 7 had been reserved for a foreign act, but wouldn’t say which.
“One hopes that God wills it and Hugh Laurie will come to the Holy Land,” Walla quipped.
Though the phrase is the Hebrew equivalent for “God willing,” the word Hashem in Hebrew literally means “The Name.” Observant Jews generally do not invoke God’s Hebrew name outside of the context of prayer and instead use the appellation Hashem in casual conversation.
Of the tweet he received from Laurie, the Israeli reporter Amsterdamski replied, “I’m pretty sure you just made my year.”
Despite his publicly asserted atheism, Laurie has likened music to a spiritual experience, telling Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald last week, “I’m not religious but music is as close to a religion for me as anything else could be. It’s transcendent and it’s spiritual and it’s just a beautiful thing.”
(H/T: Times of Israel)