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Israeli Women, Part 4: Great Ladies of Hebrew Song

The heart and soul of a nation.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

April 20, 2014 - 9:00 am
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Editor’s Note: Please check out the previous installments of this ongoing series. 

Israeli Women, Part 1: Ace Pilots Reporting for Duty

Israeli Women, Part 2: Island of Progress in a Dark Sea

Israeli Women, Part 3: The Jews’ Iron Lady, Golda Meir

Songs have played a huge role in Israeli nation-building. With Jews immigrating to the land from all over the world, an incredibly diverse mix of influences had to be sifted into the musical melting pot. And yet, even in pioneering days well before the declaration of statehood in 1948, songs of distinct, unmistakable Israeli (or what came to be called Israeli) character started emerging.

The Zionist enterprise was not an easy one, beset with economic hardship and violent attacks, and songs were a huge morale-booster. Public sing-a-longs, often with dancing, were a staple of life in the rural settlements and also became part of the general culture. Songs ran the gamut of human experience, but love for the restored land, and heroism and mourning connected to wars and battles, were common themes especially on the collective level. Songs using biblical motifs and passages were also very popular.

Women have been among Israel’s greatest creators and performers of songs. Here I can only offer a few examples from dozens of worthy cases.

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And my favorite Al Kol Ele by Naomi Shemer
נעמי שמר - על כל אלה
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBlEx2bIRNI
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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