from bitter to sweet

I was looking over some photos from our recent trip and saw this one that I took at the Katzrin Talmudic Village.


It brings to mind the song by Naomi Shemer called “Al Kol Eleh”(About All of These), also known by the first words of the song, Al HaDvash v’al Ha’Oketz–About the Honey and the Stinger. And the song is still as moving to me as when I first heard it.

Here’s a very nice translation from Zemerl, since the translation on the clip above is a bit, well, wrong.

For All These Things

Over the honey and the stinger
Over the bitter and the sweet
Over our daughter, our baby
My God, watch over what is good

Over the flame that is burning
Over the water running pure
Over the man returning home
from far away

Over all these, Over all these
God please watch over them for me,
Over the honey and the stinger
Over the bitter and the sweet

Do not uproot what is planted
Do not forget the hope
Return me, and I will return
to the good land.

Watch over this house for me, my God,
the garden, and the wall
protect them from pain, from sudden fear
And from war.

Watch over for me the little I have
The light, the baby
over the fruit that has not ripened
and over what has already been reaped.

According to this article in the [left-wing] Ha’aretz,  “Naomi Shemer composed her 1980 song `Al Kol Eleh’ [About all these] for her sister Ruthie, who had lost her husband,”but it continues to denigrate the song’s appropriation for the anti-withdrawal movement from Yamit in the Sinai. It doesn’t matter that she didn’t write it for that; she didn’t oppose the use.

But that’s part of the song, isn’t it?

Here’s another bit of info about Naomi Shemer from the book Hear Her Voice: Twelve Jewish Women Who Changed the World:

Naomi Shemer (3)

Back in February ’06, we went to visit the cemetery at Kibbutz Kinneret. There are so many amazing people who helped shape the State of Israel buried there. I took one photo.


Next time I’m there, I hope to take a photo of Rachel’s grave, too, overlooking the Kinneret.

When I return to the Good Land.


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