Israel Memorial Day clip: Rakelya, “To cry for you”

Tonight, according to the Hebrew calendar, Israel remembers its fallen soldiers, security operatives, and victims of terror. The following night, Israel will celebrate its 62nd Independence Day.

In honor of the day, here is Israeli singer Rakelya performing a Hebrew song about a friend going to an untimely grave. “Livkot lekha” (To cry for you) was originally written by Aviv Gefen (for singer Arik Einstein) in memory of a friend who was killed in a car crash, but quickly became associated with memorializing fallen soldiers. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin z”l, Gefen performed it himself at a memorial concert and recorded it for a memorial album, which is what most people associate the song with nowadays. But to me, it never lost the “memorial day” association.

Original Hebrew lyrics:

Ani holekh livkot lecha tihyeh chazak lema`ala
Ga`agu`ai kmo dlatot sheniftachot balaila
lanetzach achi ezkor otkha tamid
Venipagesh basof ata yode`a
Veyesh li chaverim aval gam hem kavim
El mul orkha hameshage`ah

Ksheatzuvim holchim layam
Lachen hayam maluach
Veze atzuv shelehachzir tziud efshar
Lo ga`agu`a
Lanetzach achi…

Ukhmo hagalim anachnu mitnaptzim
El hamezach el hachayim

Lanetzach achi…

Az ani holekh livkot lekha
Tihyeh chazak lema`ala.

My translation:

I am leaving to cry for you, be strong up there
My longing is like doors that open in the night
Forever my brother, I will always remember you
And we will meet in the end, you know
And I have friends, but they too pale
Against your maddening light

When we’re sad, we go to the sea
That’s why the sea is salty
And it is sad, that you can return equipment,
but not longing.

Forever my brother…

Like the waves, we are getting smashed
on the pier, and on life.

Forever my brother…

So I am leaving, to cry for you, be strong up there…

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