Naomi Shemer: The Voice Of A Nation

What an amazing opportunity. It is a tremendous privilege to write about artists like Naomi Shemer. Just a few weeks ago we shared with you the amazing life story and successes of Ephraim Kishon, and continuing on the same line, we’d like to give the stage and the applause to another Israeli figure: Naomi Shemer.

It is true, we’ve mention Israeli musical artists before, but we wanted to get more specific and honor the woman behind “Al Kol Ele” with a blog post just to herself.

Get ready to sing and to get emotional, Naomi Shemer deserves it.

A little bit about her life: Getting to know Naomi Shemer

Naomi Shemer was born in 1930 in Israel, with the name Naomi Sapir, and till today she is considered the first lady of Israeli songs and poetry.

During the 1950’s she served as a musician in the Israeli army, she then studied music in the prestigious Ruppin Academy in Jerusalem.

Naomi Shemer passed away on June 26, 2004, at the young age of 73. Her music continues to inspire millions around the world.

A brilliant career: From the Beatles to the 6 Days War

Naomi Shemer did a number of outstanding things within the field of music and interpretation. She was, for example, in charge of translating the hit “Let it be” by The Beatles into Hebrew, and even added music to praiseworthy poems of many authors, such as Walt Whitman.

In 1983, Naomi Shemer received the Israeli prize for a Hebrew song, both words and melody.

In the year 1967 she wrote the lyrics and music for the extraordinary song “Yerushalim Shel Zaav”, who became an extremely popular song, and earned the category of the informal 2nd anthem for Israel, especially after the 6 Day War.

Another one of her most stunning hits is “Al Kol Ele” (translated as: “For all of These”). This song has turned into one of the most emotional and meaningful musical poems both in Israel and the diaspora. Jews from all over the world sing it from the bottom of their hearts when it comes to being thankful for what we have, had, and will have.

Naomi Shemer also translated and re-adapted the song “Let it be” by The Beatles, as we said before, also turning her creation into one of Israel’s most beloved and well-known hits. This song is played in multiple synagogues in Israel and around the world, and it is a very powerful song that says, among many other things, “(…) what is the sound I hear. The voice of a Shofar and the sound of drums. All that we ask for, let it be”.

The popularity of this song is so huge, that some modern artists have created their own versions, even mixing them up with the original music and melodies of Ringo, John, Paul and George. Naomi Shemer really left a legacy!

Naomi Shemer is for sure, the voice of a nation. There’s no doubt that all Israelis have been emotionally touched with, at least, one of her most amazing musical creations.

Understand Naomi Shemer’s lyrics, poems and songs: Learn Hebrew

Naomi Shemer’s songs are so meaningful and deep, that it is totally worth it to make an effort to understand the lyrics of each one of her creations. When analyzing her words in the original language they were written, we get to know the artist a little better and it becomes easier to comprehend the context in which these artworks were created.

Today, learning Hebrew is much easier. You can register today for one of Rosen’s online and live Hebrew courses and begin your learning experience. You’ll meet others from all over the world, that will join you in the experience of learning the language of our ancestors.

Do you want to come to Israel and speak with everyone like a local? Do you want to listen to Naomi Shemer’s songs and fully understand them? Then learn some Hebrew today. We are here to help you do so. Give it a try!

About the author

Arie Elbelman R.Arie was born and raised in Chile, and immigrated to Israel in his early twenties. He wants to take an active role in the development of this young and smart country. Arie believes that the best way to shape our present and future is to live with more horizontal hierarchies, to smile a whole lot, and to always, always respect each other.

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