Movie star James Caan, who played Sonny Corleone in the classic 1972 film “The Godfather,” was full of praise for Israel on Thursday, telling followers via a Facebook video clip: “You gotta come here, you just gotta come here.”
Caan, whose parents are Jewish immigrants from Germany, took a five-day trip to the Holy Land with his son in July as a guest of the Ministry of Tourism and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His first stop was the Kotel, the Western Wall, where he put on tefillin (phylacteries), prayed and placed a handwritten note in a crack between the ancient limestones. He also enjoyed a tour of the tunnels that run beneath the Wall and marveled at the ancient construction.
He described his visit to the holy site as surreal, explaining that he had always thought of it “like a prop,” a backdrop shown in movies or on television.
“I was at the Wall and it’s just like — I don’t want to make it too flowery — but it’s just like some magic happens to you…It was really kind of moving,” Caan said.
During the trip, Caan also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, visited IDF soldiers and taught a master class at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“All my life, I’ve always had this passion to come to Israel, but never had the opportunity,” Caan noted. “There was always something inside of me. I couldn’t figure it out.”
For those interested in making the trip, he quipped, “I’ll put it on my credit card.”
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