Song for Peace, a first of its kind in Israel, was sung for the first time in 1968, a year after the “Six Days war” was won, to a nation still drunk on victory. It premiered in my basic training boot camp by Miri Aloni and Lehakat Hanchal להקת הנח"ל [Lyrics: Yankele Rotblit; Melody: Yair Rosenblum; Complete lyrics & translation. Bold, pacifist, and uncompromising, it touched many of us deeply at the time, and ever since, with its fearless message. It calls for the victorious people, and its army, to let go of the dead, to stop idealizing them, to stop the fighting on their behalf (in an endless cycle of death and wars), to stop whispering a prayer for peace, and instead to actually, yell it out loud and more importantly, bring it on! 50 years later, both the song and its potent message still reverberate in my body whenever I hear it, or sing it along.
Song for Peace – Shir Lashalom
Song for PeaceLet the sun rise the morning give its light The purest of prayers will not bring us back He who's candle was snuffed out and was buried in the dust bitter cry wont wake him up and wont bring him back Nobody will bring us back from a dead and darkened pit here, neither the victory cheer nor songs of praise will help
תנו לשמש לעלות לבוקר להאיר, הזכה שבתפילות אותנו לא תחזיר.
מי אשר כבה נרו ובעפר נטמן, בכי מר לא יעירו לא יחזירו לכאן.
איש אותנו לא ישיב מבור תחתית אפל, כאן לא יועילו לא שמחת הניצחון ולא שירי הלל.
The silent prayers for us Like balloons released towards the heavens The dead who died fighting will not return, will not roam the earth again Will not laugh or cry If you honor us Instead of singing songs Use your voices to shout for peace To stop endless wars that take your loved ones to dark graves void of light