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Birthday of Naomi Shemer, 1930

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: July 13, 1930

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Israeli music legend, Naomi Shemer, was born #onthisday in Kvutzat Kinneret, Israel. She is known for her songwriting, her ability to put poems to music, and her translations of popular songs to Hebrew.

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Naomi Shemer’s musical talent was clear from a young age leading her to lead the communal singing on the kibbutz even as a child. She went to the Rubin Academy of music in Jerusalem and upon completion she returned to the kibbutz and taught music to the children.

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She spent her army service in the cultural department of the Nahal Unit where she wrote songs to be performed by the IDF Central Command entertainment troupe.

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Her most famous song, “Jerusalem of Gold”, was performed three weeks before the Six Day War and was an instant hit. When Jerusalem was reunited during the war, the soldiers sang the song on the Temple Mount. After the war, Naomi Shemer added in another verse about returning to Jerusalem. The song is considered the one of the most-loved Israeli songs and an unofficial second national anthem of Israel.

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Noami Shemer wrote songs at important events in Israeli history such as the Yom Kippur War, the assasination of Yitzchak Rabin, and the death of Ilan Ramon. Due to her ability to capture the feelings of Israeli society her songs were hits and are still sung today.

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In 1983, Shemer won the Israel prize and the judges wrote: “The Israel Prize is awarded to Naomi Shemer for her songs, which everyone sings, because of their poetic and musical merit and the wonderful blend of lyrics and music, and also because they express the emotions of the people.”

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Naomi is known as one of the greatest female songwriters in Israeli history. Her songs are part of Israeli culture and performed both at times of celebration as well as mourning.

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Image Source:

https://aboutbasquecountry.eus/en/2014/05/15/la-melodia-vasca-que-se-ha-convertido-en-el-himno-extraoficial-de-israel/

Text Source:

https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/shemer-naomi

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