I see the entire Shalva Band, Shabbat and Eurovision saga as a wonderful example of how I see Israel as becoming more proudly Jewish than ever before.
It would have been impossible to imagine Israelis falling in love with anything resembling the Shalva Band a decade or two or more ago. And the suggestion that Israeli entertainment moguls and stars would be praising them and suggesting that they represent Israel in something as prestigious as Eurovision blows my mind.
A few decades ago, there was more separation between the Torah observant performers and all the others. A number of popular performers have become strictly Torah observant, but then they'd either stop performing or change their style and audience and ambitions.
When someone (I haven't a clue who) suggested that the Shalva Band compete for the chance to represent Israel in Eurovision, I wonder if the person thought it would be chosen, or just figured the exposure would be good publicity. Or were they naive enough to think that since Israel was the host country a solution could be found for allowing the Shalva Band to observe Shabbat and also compete.
We all know what happened. Shalva Band, which is an amazing band, was chosen to represent Israel, but since the Eurovision management refused to be flexible and allow the band to honor and obey/observe Shabbat, Shalva Band dropped out of the competition. In the end, Kan-Israeli TV has included the Shalva Band as part of the local entertainment the host country provides during the contest. So, anyone watching Eurovision will see them. Honestly, I think this solution is much better than competing. As far as I'm concerned it's a win, for Shalva and Shabbat. It's also a win for Israel as a Jewish country.
The growing popularity of the Shalva Band is also a win for people with disabilities. In a sense, we all have some sort of disability, some more limiting than others. I'm proud of my country Israel and fellow Israelis for how this is being handled. And I'm glad that the Shalva Band isn't part of the competition. I'd hate to have those wonderful, talented singers and musicians in the Shalva Band have to suffer being judged by viewer/voters all over Europe and beyond.
They are Number One and don't need the confirmation of Eurovision.
And if one of the reasons the Shalva Band had been chosen to represent Israel, was the "novelty," then they got the "last laugh." Performing without the stress of competition is much better.