Ofra Haza – Yerushalaim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold)

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JERUSALEM OF GOLD
by Naomi Shemer

The mountain air is clear as wine
And the scent of pines
Is carried on the breeze of twilight
With the sound of bells.

And in the slumber of tree and stone
Captured in her dream
The city that sits solitary
And in its midst is a wall.

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

How the cisterns have dried
The market-place is empty
And no one frequents the Temple Mount
In the Old City.

And in the caves in the mountain
Winds are howling
And no one descends to the Dead Sea
By way of Jericho.

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

But as I come to sing to you today,
And to adorn crowns to you (i.e. to tell your praise)
I am the smallest of the youngest of your children (i.e. the least worthy of doing so)
And of the last poet (i.e. of all the poets born).

For your name scorches the lips
Like the kiss of a seraph
If I forget thee, Jerusalem,
Which is all gold…

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

We have returned to the cisterns
To the market and to the market-place
A ram’s horn (shofar) calls out (i.e. is being heard) on the Temple Mount
In the Old City.

And in the caves in the mountain
Thousands of suns shine –
We will once again descend to the Dead Sea
By way of Jericho!

Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze and of light
Behold I am a violin for all your songs.

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