Hebrew – Another song I want to learn…

Our elder played this song at church last Sabbath:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZysDfygzsE]

I was disappointed that I only understood three words of the song:

אם אשכחך, ירושלים
Im eshkachech, Yerushalayim
If I forget you, Jerusalem

And I only semi understood that second word, because the elder read from Psalm 137:

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
Let my right hand forget its skill!
Psalm 137:5, NKJV

I’m going to learn this song… (Never mind that the queue of songs I’m ‘going to learn’ is getting longer…)

The video is quite a powerful compilation, too. isn’t it? It stirs me, and I’m not Jewish. I can’t imagine what it is like for someone with strong Jewish identity, especially a Zionist.

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2 Responses to Hebrew – Another song I want to learn…

  1. Yaelle says:

    I have two objections here, if that’s ok?
    First of all, this version of the song is not sung by a Hebrew speaker. The accent is very difficult for me to understand, and actually I don’t think I would recognize that it’s Hebrew if I didn’t already know the song. He sings it according to the traditional Ashkenazi pronunciation which is taught in the US, where ת (T) is pronounced like ש (SH), and vowels are turned into diphthongs. Very confusing, in my opinion!
    Secondly, I think that religious Jews would find this song much more moving and inspiring than Zionists. In the Bible, and actually, in all ancient Jewish literature, the yearning to return to the city of Jerusalem is an element strongly emphasized. Zionists, however, were just fine with the idea of building the modern Jewish nation (after WWII) in Uganda or Argentina! The place and religion were not so important, as was Jewish ethnicity which would be propelled by other means. Eventually, they chose Israel because they didn’t want the Jewish people to be divided, as religious people would not follow them to any other location.
    I agree that the term “Zionism” is misleading in the fact that Zion = Jerusalem; but Zionism is more than just the location and the holiness of the city – it’s about ethnicity, protection for persecuted Jews, nationalism and ideas of the modern world and culture that could not otherwise be realized.


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