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31-5-2011 The beautiful song and words: Jerusalem of gold and the prophecy of its liberation........

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH8gtdDA5x0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH8gtdDA5x0   ofra chaza : song with text

 

Nourith - "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" - Naomi She...door Snakserge217948 keer bekeken











TRANSLATIONS


There are several
English translations
to the song.
Some are closer to the original
while others are
a freer rendition.


Following is a literal translation
from the Hebrew
prepared by Yael Levine


JERUSALEM OF GOLD
by Naomi Shemer


The mountain air is clear as wine
And the scent of pines
Is carried on the breeze of twilight
With the sound of bells.

And in the slumber of tree and stone
Captured in her dream
The city that sits solitary
And in its midst is a wall.

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

How the cisterns have dried
The market-place is empty
And no one frequents the Temple Mount
In the Old City.

And in the caves in the mountain
Winds are howling
And no one descends to the Dead Sea
By way of Jericho.

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

But as I come to sing to you today,
And to adorn crowns to you (i.e. to tell your praise)
I am the smallest of the youngest of your children (i.e. the least worthy of doing so)
And of the last poet (i.e. of all the poets born).

For your name scorches the lips
Like the kiss of a seraph
If I forget thee, Jerusalem,
Which is all gold...

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

We have returned to the cisterns
To the market and to the market-place
A ram's horn (shofar) calls out (i.e. is being heard) on the Temple Mount
In the Old City.

And in the caves in the mountain
Thousands of suns shine -
We will once again descend to the Dead Sea
By way of Jericho!

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

A translation by Chaya Galai
is posted on the official site
of the Israel Ministry
of Foreign Affairs.


JERUSALEM OF GOLD
by Naomi Shemer


The mountain air is clear as water
The scent of pines around
Is carried on the breeze of twilight,
And tinkling bells resound.


The trees and stones there softly slumber,
A dream enfolds them all.
So solitary lies the city,
And at its heart -- a wall.


Oh, Jerusalem of gold, and of light and of
bronze,
I am the lute for all your songs.


The wells ran dry of all their water,
Forlorn the market square,
The Temple Mount dark and deserted,
In the Old City there.


And in the caverns in the mountain,
The winds howl to and fro,
And no-one takes the Dead Sea highway,
That leads through Jericho.


Oh, Jerusalem of gold, and of light and of
bronze,
I am the lute for all your songs.


But as I sing to you, my city,
And you with crowns adorn,
I am the least of all your children,
Of all the poets born.


Your name will scorch my lips for ever,
Like a seraph's kiss, I'm told,
If I forget thee, golden city,
Jerusalem of gold.


Oh, Jerusalem of gold, and of light and of
bronze,
I am the lute for all your songs.


The wells are filled again with water,
The square with joyous crowd,
On the Temple Mount within the City,
The shofar rings out loud.


Within the caverns in the mountains
A thousand suns will glow,
We'll take the Dead Sea road together,
That runs through Jericho.


Oh, Jerusalem of gold, and of light and of
bronze,
I am the lute for all your songs.

ISRAEL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
50 YEARS OF HEBREW SONG

In this rendition, the refrain erroneously
repeats itself in the middle of the last stanza.





Here is another translation
of the entire song.


JERUSALEM OF GOLD
by Naomi Shemer


As clear as wine, the wind is flying
Among the dreamy pines
As evening light is slowly dying
And a lonely bell still chimes,
So many songs, so many stories
The stony hills recall...
Around her heart my city carries
A lonely ancient wall.


Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.


Alas, the dry wells and fountains,
Forgotten market-day
The sound of horn from Temple's mountain
No longer calls to pray,
The rocky caves at night are haunted
By sounds of long ago
When we were going to the Jordan
By way of Jericho.


Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.


But when I come to count your praises
And sing Hallel to you
With pretty rhymes I dare not crown you
As other poets do,
Upon my lips
is always burning
Your name, so dear, so old:
If I forget Yerushalaim
Of bronze and light and gold...


Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.


Back to the wells and to the fountains
Within the ancient walls
The sound of horn from Temple's mountain
Again so loudly calls,
From rocky caves, this very morning
A thousand suns will glow
As we shall go down to the Jordan
By way of Jericho.


Yerushalaim all of gold
Yerushalaim, bronze and light
Within my heart I shall treasure
Your song and sight.



This version appears, inter alia, in
Landmarks:
Resource material, poetry, songs,
games and activities,

edited by Avi Tsur,
and published by the Israeli
Ministry of Education,
Culture and Sport,
in 1998 in Jerusalem: 103.

It also accompanies
the musical notes
to the song at
MUSICAL ADVENTURES.

 


Portions of the second, third,
and fourth stanzas
appeared in an article
devoted to the song
published in the December 1967 issue
of the Reader's Digest.
Linda Gottlieb, "The Song That Took a City", Reader's Digest, December 1967: 113, 115.

The water cisterns are dry,
The marketplace is empty,
We cannot visit our temple in the ancient city
Where winds wail in the rocky caves
Over the mountains.
We cannot go to the Dead Sea
By way of Jericho.
Your name burns my lips like a seraphim's kiss.
Let me not forget thee, O Jerusalem of gold!

We have come back now to the water cisterns.
Back to the marketplace.
The sound of the shofar is heard
From the Wailing Wall in the ancient city.
And from the rocky caves in the mountains,
A thousand suns are rising.
We shall go now to the Dead Sea,
Go by way of Jericho!

 


Yet another translation
of the first and last stanzas
was carried out by
Chai Notes.
[Former URL: http://www.rso.cornell.edu:8000/chainotes/repertoire.html]

This version was arranged
by Rebecca Shaefer.



Mountain air as clear as wine and the scent of pine,
Carried on the evening wind with the sound of bells.
And in the slumber of trees and stones,
Imprisoned in her dream is the city which dwells alone,
A wall within her heart.


Jerusalem of gold, of copper, and of light,
Behold I am a harp for all your songs.


We have returned to the cisterns
To the market and the square.
The shofar calls on the Temple Mount in the old city.
And from the caves in the rocks, a thousand suns glow again.
We will go down to the Dead Sea by way of Jericho.


Jerusalem of gold, of copper, and of light,
Behold I am a harp for all your songs.

Note: Several changes have been inserted in this translation
in places where it was incorrect.


Two partial translations
to the song
are posted on phish.net,
an unofficial site of Phish.
Both, however, clearly depart
from the original,
and contain themes
that are not present
in the Hebrew.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THESE TRANSLATIONS.

Read about Phish and the
Yerushalayim Shel Zahav
connection
at web pages LYRICS and MUSIC.




PLEASE CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN JEWISH SOURCES


BY YAEL LEVINE



The term "Jerusalem of Gold" is known to many primarily from the Hebrew song bearing this name. This mode of expression, as well as the similar forms "city of gold", "crown of brides" (see infra) or "crown of gold" (The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, second version, chapter 12), relates in the sources to a golden diadem surrounded by turrets in the shape of the walls of Jerusalem with which women used to adorn themselves.

Various halakhic discussions pertaining to this crown are found in the talmudic and midrashic literature. Additionally, sources tell of the specific case of Rabbi Akiva who granted his wife such a tiara after he became wealthy. In employing this locution, Naomi Shemer, composer of the song, based herself on the story concerning Rabbi Akiva.

 

Several of the mishnahs of the sixth chapter of tractate Shabbat enumerate various articles, among them apparel, ornaments, and jewelry, with which it is permissible for women to go out into the public domain on Shabbat, and others with which it is not. The opening mishnah of the chapter lists, among other things, a "city of gold" as one of the objects with which a woman may not go out to the public domain. However, it further states that "if she went out, she is not liable for a sin-offering". The mishnaic tractate Eduyot (2,7) brings down in the name of Rabbi Eliezer a differing opinion on the matter. "Three things did they say before Rabbi Akiva, two in the name of Rabbi Eliezer...A woman may go out with a city of gold". Three opinions on the issue under discussion are found in the tosefta; those of Rabbi Meir, of the Sages, and Rabbi Eliezer. From the tosefta we learn that the anonymous view posited in tractate Shabbat is that of the Sages: "A woman should not go out wearing a city of gold, and if she went out, she is liable for a sin-offering, the words of Rabbi Meir. And Sages say, She should not go out, but if she did go out she is exempt. Rabbi Eliezer says, A woman goes out with a city of gold..." (Tosefta Shabbat 4,6).

 

The Babylonian Talmud, in reference to this mishnah, quotes the tosefta, and elucidates the positions articulated (59b). The stance of Rabbi Meir, who maintains that a woman may not enter into the public domain with a "city of gold", and if she did so is required to bring a sin-offering, rests on the assumption that wearing such a tiara is regarded as carrying a burden. The Sages view the city of gold as a piece of jewelry. Donning it was forbidden lest the woman remove it and show it to her friend, and thus possibly carry in the public domain. By contrast, Rabbi Eliezer is of the opinion that only women of rank wear a "city of gold", and a woman of such standing will not remove it for display. In the mishnaic tractate Sotah (9,14) it is stated that "During the war of Quietus they decreed on [the wearing of] crowns of brides". The historical event referred to is, according to some opinions, the Roman war against the Persians that took place in the second decade of the second century, during which Jews in Syria and Babylon were massacred. Quietus served as general of that war. Both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds ad loc. (Babylonian Talmud Sotah 49a-b; Jerusalem Talmud Sotah 9,16, 24c) identify "crowns of brides" with "city of gold". It was, then, the custom of brides prior to this war to adorn themselves with and don such a tiara at weddings.

 

As already mentioned, reference to the city of gold is found in various accounts of the stories regarding Rabbi Akiva and his wife. "The daughter of Kalba Savu'a betrothed herself to Rabbi Akiva. When her father heard thereof, he vowed that she was not to benefit from any of his property. Then she went and married him in winter. They slept in a straw bin, and he had to pick out the straw from her hair. He said to her: If I had the means, I would give you a Jerusalem of Gold". So commences the account in the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Nedarim (50a. Parallel source: Ketubot 62b-63a). It is the only version which mentions Rabbi Akiva's initial promise to his wife that should he become wealthy, he would give her a "Jerusalem of Gold". According to the continuation of the story, he left her and departed to study Torah for twelve years under Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua. He then returned home, but upon overhearing a conversation in which she expressed her wish that he learn for another twelve years set out to study for this additional period of time. The talmud relates that Rabbi Akiva became wealthy from various sources (See Avodah Zarah 10b; ibid. 20b; Nedarim 50a-b and Rashi and Ran ad loc.) to the extent that he had tables of silver and gold and he mounted his bed on ladders of gold. He then fulfilled his promise to his wife, and presented her with a "city of gold".

 

According to the first version of The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan (chapter 6), his students were embarrassed by their master's new-found wealth. According to the second version (ibid., chapter 12), it was his sons who disapproved of his behavior, claiming that people were ridiculing them on this account. Rabbi Akiva explained his action as a tribute to his wife who had endured many trials for his sake, so that he could study Torah.

 

The Jerusalem Talmud (Shabbat 6,1, 7d; Sotah 9,16, 24c) relates that the wife of Rabban Gamliel the Nassi was jealous of Rabbi Akiva's wife, and complained to her husband, who reacted by saying: "Would you have done for me what she has done for him that she sold the braids on her head and gave him (the money) so that he could study Torah".

 

This symbolic act on the part of Rabbi Akiva in the generation following the destruction of the Second Temple was a manifestation of his more profound yearning for the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. A similar reasoning underlies several enactments instituted after the destruction out of the conviction that "the Temple will speedily be rebuilt" (See: Rosh ha-Shanah 30a; Ta'anit 17b; Bekhorot 53b). Rabbi Akiva was decked with love not for Jerusalem alone, but for the Land of Israel in general, which he opposed leaving (The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, first version, chapter 26).

 

The presentation of a "Jerusalem of Gold" by Rabbi Akiva to his wife should be viewed in the wider context of his attitude towards women. Echoes of his favorable stance find their expression, inter alia, in his statement "Who is rich...He who has a wife comely in her deeds" (Shabbat 25b). It would not be farfetched to surmise that his well-known statement "As the reward for the righteous women who lived in that generation the Israelites were delivered from Egypt" (Sotah 11b) stems from his positive experience with his wife, who sacrificed much so that he could study Torah.


 

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE SOURCES
READ THE FOLLOWING EXTENSIVE SCHOLARLY ARTICLE:

Yael Levine Katz, "Jerusalem of Gold"
(Hebrew with English Abstract),
MEHQERE HAG, 12, 5761: 116-140.