Haim Hefer, an Israeli songwriter and poet who for many Israelis embodied the spirit of the generation that fought for their nation’s independence, died on Tuesday in Tel Aviv. He was 86.The Jerusalem Post mourned his passing:
Mr. Hefer, who could be an acerbic critic of Israeli political leaders, helped forge a national identity in contemporary Hebrew with his lyrics and newspaper columns written in verse.
Poet, songwriter, filmmaker and playwright Haim Hefer, one of the icons of Israeli culture, died on the second day of Rosh Hashana at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, after a long illness.
A prolific songwriter and poet whose works are at the foundation of Israel’s national cultural treasure, Hefer for many years wrote poems based on current events for Yediot Aharonot.Which songs did Haim Hefer write? Better to ask which songs he didn't write. The Jerusalem Post continues:
Born in Sosnowiec, Poland, in 1925, he came to British Mandate Palestine in 1936, and at age 17 joined the Hagana.
He helped to smuggle illegal immigrants through Syria and Lebanon. He was the founder the Palmah’s military entertainment unit Chizbatron, which was the forerunner of the IDF entertainment units.
His imprint on Israeli culture earned him the Israel Prize for Hebrew song in 1983.
Among his most popular songs were “The Last War,” “He Didn’t Know Her Name” and “Yes, It’s Possible.” Another of his songs, “The Red Rock,” made popular by performer Arik Lavi, was initially banned because it was thought that it would encourage adventurous Israelis to make dangerous, illegal excursions to Petra in Jordan.Here, to remember Haim Hefer, is The Red Rock:
Abq Jew remembers HaSela HaAdom from the old days when he was younger. Back then, he used to go to the HaFinjan club in NYC to hear Ron Eliran sing.
And speaking of HaFinjan - Haim Hefer wrote that, too! Here is Yaffa Yarkoni:
And then there's the 1974 movie Kazablan. Haim Hefer wrote many of Yehoram Gaon's songs, including Abq Jew's favorite - Rosa!
Dedicated to Roselyn Yellin of blessed memory, Abq Jew's mother
Shabbat Shalom, Albuquerque!
Good Shabbos, New Mexico!