Every Yom Ha'zikaron in Israel—the day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror—the radio and television stations broadcast the names and images of Israel's lost sons and daughters.
How It Began
More than a decade ago, Galei Tzahal (גלי צה"ל, "Army Radio") began a project in which major Israeli artists compose songs with lyrics written by the fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The songs reflect the soldier's life and spirit, and are played throughout the year in their memory. Below are some of these songs from Army Radio.
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בלי לומר מילה
(B'li Lomar Milah, "Without Saying a Word")
by Shalom Chanoch
A soldier returns for a short visit to spend precious time with his girlfriend. Meanwhile, the war rages on and he must return, which he does "without saying a word."
by Eviatar Banai
A young man asks his father to tell him he loves him and that he is doing everything he's supposed to do. He needs his father to say these things one more time, before the father heads back to Miluim (מילואים, "army reserves").
(Shilchi Oto, "Send Him")
by Roni Dalumi
This song is based on words by Benyamin Frankel, a soldier who fell in the line of duty in 1974.
Letting a loved one (a soldier) do whatever his heart desires because life is short and he may not return.
שיר של אחרי מלחמה
(Shir Shel Achrei Milchamah, "The Song You Sing After the War")
by Arik Einstein
The ageless story of soldiers returning from war and the loved ones waiting for them. The song has been sung before - it is the song of hope. When the soldier returns to the arms of a loved one, that means the war is over.
קצר פה כל כך האביב
(Katzar Poh Kol Kach Haviv, "Spring is So Brief Over Here")
Lyrics by David Grossman, Music by Yehuda Poliker
Comparing the short burst of springtime to the loss of a young soldier, as seen through the eyes of a parent.
- For whom (or what) do you feel responsible?
- If you could talk to someone only one more time, what would you want to know?
- What are the tangible and intangible things you carry through high times and low times?
(Livkot Lecha, "To Cry For You”)
Aviv Geffen wrote this well-known song in 1991 after his close friend died in a car accident. Later in 1995, Gefen sang the song in a memorial to assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Since then, the Israeli public has come to associate this song with mourning and the loss of those whose time was cut short. Below is the song, recorded by Arik Einstein, one of the most beloved singers in Israeli history, who passed away in 2013.
- How did you feel listening to this song?
- What do you think Aviv Geffen was trying to express?
- “And like the tide / we crash, we collide.” Explore the image of the tide: how do tides behave? What do they symbolize? How does this fit with the feelings and mindset of Yom Ha'zikaron?