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The many lives of ‘Jerusalem of Gold,’ an Israeli
A Vox Tablet Podcast, Produced by Julie Subrin with
In May 1967, at the annual Israel Music Festival in Jerusalem, a song
was born. Singing to a live and radio audience of millions, Shuli Natan
debuted “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” or “Jerusalem of Gold.” With
elegiac music and patriotic lyrics by Naomi Shemer (with a sentence or
two borrowed from Yehuda
Halevi), it immediately won the hearts of many in the audience;
three weeks later, after the Six-Day War and the unification of
Jerusalem under Israeli rule, the song gained the status of a
near-national anthem. On Jerusalem Day, celebrated this year on May 12,
it’s inescapable. But the song has its detractors, and it comes with
some surprising historical baggage. Tablet Magazine’s Liel Leibovitz
tells the story.
Hear the full story from Tablet Magazine's Liel Leibovitz here.
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