Monday, 10 May 2010

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Hakotel


This week we'll be celebrating 43 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, on the 2nd day of the Six Day War. So I'll be posting some of the shirim of those days.

Ofra Chaza (1957-2000) was born in Tel Aviv to a family of Yemenite Jews. She was one of our most important singers, and straddled various genres. When I presented Shirim Mizrachi'im last week a number of readers admonished me for not presenting Ofra, since she was an important performer of them. Yet she didn't start there, nor was she ever only a singer of mizrachi music. Since I'm bringing songs about Jerusalem this week, I've chosen one she sang.

Hakotel - the Western Wall - was written in the flush of victory after June 1967. Given that an event had just transpired which had been fervently anticipated for 1897 years, it would have been forgivable if the shirim of those days had been triumphant songs of victory. They weren't, not in the simple meaning of the words. Here, judge for yourselves: the words in Hebrew, English and transliteration are all on the You Tube page; if you look carefully you'll see Teddy Kollek, mythological mayor of Jerusalem, in the final frames of the film; the recording was probably made sometime in the 1980s, and the venue is the open-air auditorium below the wall of the Old City.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Hakotel

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