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Shir laShalom - 04. November 1995

As many people wondered what kind of song Rabin might have sung on this tragic rally last shabath, I transcribed and translated the lyrics as i could get it from an older recording. I'm sorry, but i can't tell you who originally wrote the poem.

But instead i'ld like to tell you, or better remind you, of another Israeli, whose live ended tragically in the course of a "Shalom Achshav" rally, moving towards the Knesseth, singing this song.

It was Emil Grinzweig (Zikhrono l'Brakha), and he was killed protesting lebanon-war, after the truth about sabra and shatilla became known to the israeli public, after ne'ilah yom-kipur 1982. I will never forget our shock, as he was killed, in Jerusalem, by a fellow israeli citizen.


Tnu laShemesh la'alot
laBoker leha'ir
chasakah she baTfilot
otanu lo tachsir
mi asher kaw'a Nero
u b'adma Kivro
w' Chibah lo ja'iro
lo jachsiro l'khan
Ish otanu lo jashiw
m'Choshekh w'Afel
kan lo ja'ilu
lo Simchat haNizachon
w'lo Shrej Halel
lachen rak shiru Shir laShalom
al tilchashu T'filah
lachen rak shiru Shir laShalom
beZe'aka gdolah!
tnu laShemesh lachador
etMitat haPrahim
al tabitu l'achor
hanichu Chalalim
s'u Ejnajim beTikva
lo derekh Kawanot
shiru shir l'Ahavah
we lo l'Milchamot
al tagidu Yom yabo
tabi'u et haYom
ki-lo Chalom hu
u-b'khol haKikarot
tashiru rak Shalom!


Lasst es zu, dass die sonne aufsteigen moege,
den Morgen zu erleuchten,
denn auch das staerkste aller Gebete
wird uns nicht zurueckbringen
jenen dessen licht ausgeloescht
und der in der erde begraben ist,
keine Umarmung wird ihn mehr erwecken
und hierher zurueckbringen
Niemand wird uns je antworten
aus dem Dunkel von Staub und Asche,
da helfen weder
noch Lobeslieder
Darum singt nur das Lied des Friedens,
fluestert keine Gebete,
sondern singt das Lied des Friedens
mit einem grossen Schrei.
Lasst die Sonne durchdringen
die Ruhestaetten aus Blumen,
schaut nicht zurueck,
lasst die Gefallenen in Ruhe.
Erhebt die Augen in Hoffnung,
blickt nicht durch Zielfernrohre,
singt ein Lied der Liebe
und nicht den Kriegen.
Sagt nicht "der Tag wird kommen"
bringt ihn her, den Tag,
denn es ist kein Traum,
und dann wird man auf allen Strassen
nur dem Frieden singen.


Let the sun rise,
to enlighten the morning,
as not even the strongest of prayers
can bring us back
the one whose flame has been put out
who's buried in the ground,
not even a hug will wake him up,
and bring him back to us.
Nobody ever will answer us
from the darkness of the grave,
neither the joy of victory
nor songs of praise will help.
So, just sing a song for peace,
not just whisper a prayer
Just sing a song for peace,
and shout out very loud.
Let the sunshine pierce
the beds of flowers,
don't look back,
and let the fallen rest.
Raise your eyes in hope,
not through the sights of guns,
Sing a song to love
and not to wars.
Don't say "once a day will come"
go bring that day now!
and in all the streets and squares,
raise your voices for peace.

As many of our fellow-jews are still talking about Yitzhak Rabin as if he were an enemy of jewish tradition, i found one of his last speeches, (it is about Jerusalem and about jewish prayer, held by our former Prime Minister in Washington DC OCTOBER 25, 1995).
I would very much like you to read some parts out of it... you can get the whole text at: Israel Information Service Gopher Information Division / Israel Foreign Ministry - Jerusalem Mail all Queries to

"... Ani Irushalmi:
...My Jerusalem is the focus of the Jewish people's yearnings, the city of its visions, the cradle of its prayers. It is the dream of the return to Zion. It is the name millions murmur, even on their death bed. It is the place where eyes are raised and prayers are uttered.
...My Jerusalem is the tears of the paratroopers at the Western Wall in 1967 and the flag which once more waved above the remnant of the Temple.
...And my Jerusalem is the City of Peace, which will bear great tidings to all faiths, to all nations: "For the Torah shall come forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem... Peace be within thy walls and prosperity within thy palaces."

..."We differ in our opinions, left and right. We disagree on the means and the objective. In Israel, we all agree on one issue: the wholeness of Jerusalem,... ...Jerusalem is not subject to compromise, and there is no peace without Jerusalem." ..."Jerusalem, which was destroyed eight times, where for years we had no access to the remnants of our Temple, was ours, is ours, and will be ours -- forever."

And sad enough, as we read it today: ..."My Jerusalem is the great mountain, the military cemetery on Mount Herzl, the city of silence whose earth holds the treasured thousands of those who went to bitter battle -- and did not return."

Another letter to the November '95 forum: Dear ...

Many people in this forum - held to discuss the tragic events in Tel-Aviv - vigorously attack Rabin even after the event. Many used the words of the last song he sang against him.
It is very easy,superficial and narrow minded if a fundamental aggression against religious faith and the Thorah ( hi CHAJENU w'orekh jamenu = ...she is our LIFE and the lenghth of our days) is made out of mentioning some serious facts which should be obvious to everybody.

This song (Shir l'Shalom) for example simply reminds us, of the fact that the dead will never come back and nothing, NOT EVEN the strongest of prayer will help, if we forget that the most holy and important thing in jewish faith is live, the live of every human beeing, which is even higher in importance and holyness to G'd then Yom haShabath, the day G'd sat down and rested and enjoyed his creation in peace.

We are responsible to keep this creation alive.
In Judaism (as in contrary to many other religious believes) there is no resurection from the grave - atleast not in this world and not in our times. Judaism mainly deals with THIS world, and thus makes us even more responsible for it then the members of any other faith.
We do not have neither free-tickets to paradise, not even by martyrdom or kamikaze-actions, nor do we have saints and sanctuation (not pre- and not post-mortem).
But of course we know that G'd is the one to bring back to live all what is dead. "...m'chajeh Metim ..., raw l'hoshia, ...m'chajeh Metim b'Rahamim rabim um'kayem Emunato l'Jeshney baAfar, ...w'ne'eman ... l'hachiot Metim..." *)

But all this will happen not in our time and not in our world. We cannot say G'd will heal here and now what we let die or slaughtered. We do not say he can not, we say he will not.
He will not leave us alone, but he will keep us responsible for this world and all that is created by him, (and sad enough that for some of our fellow-jews I feel urged to mention, that his creation includes everything and everybody, meaning also every human-beeings of what ever heritage).
The recognition of our partnership with G'd, which holds each one of us in this responsibility, is one of the very basic facts of jewish religion. We have to make the world a more and more devine place and shape ourselves more and more to similarity to G'd.
One of the most important attributes of G'd is his mercy (haRahamim) and his love to humanity, if this would not be so, we couldn't stand from one day to another, and there would be no hope, that once, in the next world and in the times of the m'shiach, he will reach out his hand and help us to leave the dust and the ashes.
But not because of our rightiousness, but because of his Rahamim (in english mercy, compassion**)

It is our responsibility, and we cannot excuse ourselves for missed chances by beeing praying and feeling right, and not standing up and shouting out for what is important to reach this devine aim.
The hebrew word Shalom is derived from it's root Shalem, meaning to be whole, complete, perfected in a sence of having acomplished it's entity. Neither this world, nor Eretz Jisrael will ever be perfect without the peace.

This is what the Thorah tries to say, as not only I understand it.

There are so many aspects on this matter, that I could go on and on writing, but who would read?
Just one question: "Do you really believe, that there is more trust and faith in G'ds presence by leaning on guns, tanks, supression, mistrust and self- rightiousness, then in believing that G'd gave us this land to be respected among the nations and bring honour to his Thorah, by beeing respected for our faith and our holding on to him and his ideals in hope (as this "secular" song says), still believing in his creation and in the devine potential of menkind, which is created in his image?"

We already own the best military equipment and the bravest of soldiers (of whom one of the most outstanding our former PM Mr. Yitzhak Rabin was). Let us now try a Song for Peace, and don't be afraid, we will not forget to pray.

Look at your fellow-jews in love, and your first assumption shall be that they might mean good. We all have the same right to understand the Thorah with our (own) heart and our (own) mouth, each of us. Just like the 600 000 did at Mount Sinai - each one of them with HIS heart and HIS mouth. There was the ONE voice they all listened to, but each of them had an own resonance in his heart. This will free us from Sin'at Chinam (hatred for nothing) and Chilul haSh'm (abuse of the holy N'me) and lead us to Ahavat Jisrael.

Todah Rabah for having read so far. Thank You.

If you would like to read what Mr. Rabin sad about prayers and Jerusalem read in the file below.

May G'd comfort Mishpahat Rabin together with all the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.

*) "You are the one who revives the dead. He sustains the living with loving kindness, revives the dead with great compassion. He keeps His faith with the slumberers in the dust. ...and you are faithful to revive the dead."
**) Rahamim means actually much more then the english translation implies. The Hebrew word Rahamim is related to the word Rehem (womb, uterus), meaning something accepting and nourishing and keeping alive no matter what you do, and it is all arround you as a protecting and loving shelter.

Subj: More secularist pap
Date: 07.11.1995 22:38:17
From: RonnieS153
Posted on: America Online

"Don't whisper a prayer
Just sing a song of peace"

In a nutshell, this sums up the kulturkampf going on in Israeli society. The song is a slap in the face of any believing Jew and it is not a coincidence that this song was adopted by the secular Israeli left. It denigrates religion and intentionally so. It says that prayer has no efficacy in this world, that we should abandon religion and embrace some vague universalist notion of holding hands and singing songs.

The secular left in Israel is just as extremist in their anti-religious stance as the extreme right is in their embrace of religion - perhaps more so.

BTW, your translation of the song was inaccurate. al tilchashu T'filah does *not* mean "not just whisper a prayer". It means "Don't whisper a prayer", a far more negative comment about prayer than your translation indicates.

Subj: Re:HaShir b'Anglith
Date: 08.11.1995 00:47:09
From: Levite5755
Posted on: America Online

It seems such a nice song with great secular significance. What are we saying when we say the Amidah and the Kaddish. We state that we believe and have faith in G-d's ability to awake those who sleep in the dust and revive the dead. We say who can be compared to HaShem in this way. We say Kaddish exalting G-d even in the face of tragedy.

Are these words lip service without meaning and our significant secular song better? I suppose it is appropriate for our significant secular Israel.

Does the Torah and the prophets warnings mean so little to us? Does our jewish religious tradition evoke no emotion other than hate?
Let us rely on and return to HaShem for His way is better than such significant secular song.

Date: 05.11.1995 19:56:41
From: ShlomoNY
Posted on: America Online

The great tragedy is not that Mr. Rabin was killed but that we Jews have sunk to such a low level that Jew can kill Jew. How great a chillul Hashem it is! Rabin (and Peres for that matter) has most probably set the foundations for the demise of the political State of Israel (g-d please prove me wrong) thru his destructive policies. Giving up our sacred land to the hands of terrorists and putting Jewish lives in danger. The PLO is not a state but a organization of Jew killers (may their name be obliterated). RABIN's vicious hatred for religious Jews, not according them any credence is even ANTISEMITIC. This so called "peace process" (most likely a war process) has already escalated Arab terrorism with more JEWS MURDERED than any other time period in it's short history. And he has the ultimate SICKNESS to travel to the US and elsewhere petitioning foreign governments for monies to purchase guns and ammo for the Palestinians. Oh ho dumb Jews can be!
Hey, if anyone knows of where I can locate exact details of where it is documented that Rabin killed his fellow Jews (incredible!!) during the pre-state era, please email me. The killing should be condemed as an act contrary to all Judaism believes in the strongest of terms.

Subj: Re:Songs and Prayer1
Date: 08.11.1995 13:56:57
From: Levite5755
Posted on: America Online

Dudu, you make good points and I am not saying to rely on Divine intervention alone. We have our part to do. Torah specifies the correct mode of acting in this world with compassion, humility and acts of loving kindness. You show a lack of faith when you say not at this time and not in this world.
These things can happen any time and in this world when HaShem chooses. What do you think of when you recite the Amidah? Do you think these words are impossible for HaShem who created heaven and earth. Give HaShem some credit here.

Subj: Re:Rabin and Jewish Feelings
Date: 09.11.1995 00:56:55
From: Levite5755
Posted on: America Online

The quotes Dudu posted here were probably from Mr. Rabin's speech writer. While he may believed in some of the things quoted here, I suspect the religious ones were quoted to appease the religious groups who did not agree with his actions.
These words were probably said when he thought that he could still influence these people with words. This is not said from disrespect but from the observation of inconsistent stances on religion in other speeches and remarks. Mr Rabin was a secularist and had a great dislike for the religious person. Therefor, these speechs would become suspect in motivation.

Subj: Re:More secularist pap
Date: 09.11.1995 01:54:54
From: Levite5755
Posted on: America Online

Israel is supposed to be ruled by Torah. Israel is supposed to be a Holy Land and it is. However, if the people aren't holy then the land will "vomit us out" according to the word of HaShem in the Torah. The peace process is just that, a regurgitation of the unholiness. If we don't stop we, G-d forbid, will be on the outside looking in at infidels inhabiting our land like back in the days of Canaan. Pretty right wing, I know but thats the way I see it.

Subj: Dudu's Posting
Date: 09.11.1995

I reply here to some of the following things Dudu Gal posted:
>>It is very easy,superficial and narrow minded if a fundamental aggression against religious faith and the torah - ki hi CHAJENU w'orekh jamenu - is made out of mentioning some facts which are obvious We do not have neither free-tickets to paradise, not even by martyrdom or kamikaze-actions,"Hu...m'chajeh Metim ..., raw l'hoshia, ...m'chajeh Metim b'Rahamim rabim um'kayem Emunato l'Jeshney baAfar, ...w'ne'eman ... l'hachiot Metim..." But all this will happen not in our time and not in our world. Just one question: "Is there really more trust in G'ds presence by leaning on guns, tanks, supression, mistrust and self-rightiousness then in believing that G'd gave us this land to be respected among the nations and bring honour to his Torah, by beeing respected for our faith and our holding on to him and his ideals in hope, still believing in his creation and in the devine potential of menkind, which is created in his image?" Look at your fellow-jews in love, and your first assumption shall be that they might mean good. This will free us from Sin'at Chinam and Chilul haSh'm and lead us to Ahavat Jisrael.<<

The reason there is a "secular left" in Israel is because the Orthodox have a monopoly on all religious affairs in the state. Mrs. Rabin, although she hates his guts, was enough of a lady to shake Bibi Netanyahu's hand, albeit coldly, at the funeral They are nothing but a bunch of Zionist-Revisionists born of the Jewish Neo-Nazi Vladimir Jabotinsky, and his lacky Menahim Begin. It would be refreshing to be able to pray at the Kotel with my wife alongside me. It would be nice to not have some "so-called religious morons" through stones at passing cars on the Sabbath.It is about time that these anachronistic laws be repealed. Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Movements have just as much right to legitimacy as the Orthodox.What right do any of the Orthodox have to dictate to any of the rest of us, our mode of worship.Hopefully the next election will make them the minor peep in Israeli affairs that they once were.We want EQUALITY now!!! You won't get MOSCHIACH now, till that happens.

  • Judentum Seite 1: Zom Gedaljah und Jizhak Rabin
  • Yitzhak Rabin ì''æ, Zusammenfassung der Ereignisse um den 4. November 1995 (Audio Files: RA oder InterNet Wave VMD. Rabin (Soundfile Typ Wav, 180kb): ''Ich war ein Mann der Armee 27 Jahre meines Lebens, und ich habe gekaempft, solange es keine Chance fuer den Frieden gab. Ich glaube, dass es jetzt eine Chance fuer den Frieden gibt - eine grosse Chance!''
  • Ariga, ein sehr gutes Online Journal aus Tel-Aviv. Empfehlenswert ist ein kostenloses Abbonement des Newsletters.

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