"…I looked at the calendar to sign today's date- the 13th of July, which is my birthday. No, that's not right. Your birthday is the 17th of Tammuz, the day the walls of the city [Jerusalem] were breached. Those were the people. Now you understand that it is not by happenstance that they celebrated my birthday on the 13th of July. The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem and we cannot celebrate a birthday on that day…" (From the program , "Lover's Bread", Rivka Michaeli and Dalia On-Prisent in conversation with Naomi Shemer's teachers, Shoshana and Aminadav Yisraeli)
Naomi Shemer was born on the 17th of Tammuz 5690 (13th of July, 1930) and died- almost exactly as she predicted- "in the middle of Tammuz" on the 7th of Tammuz 5764 (26th of July, 2004).
In honor of Naomi Shemer's 83rd birthday, we present one of her semi-autobiographical poems, "Noa". "Noa" was written in the late 50's for the band "Green Onion". A version, performed by Arik Lavi, is especially well known. Noa is evidently Naomi, daughter of the Kinneret, "born in the field, between the grass and the stone". It is there where she also wished to be buried to the sound of the song, "Noa", that "the dew sang to her" together with her friends, accompanied by the voice of "the beautiful-petaled wild chrysanthemums" crying, "al'al al'al."
Now we present a rare and unique version of the song from 1958 from a collection of Israeli recordings, performed by the singer Shimon Yisraeli and richly arranged by the musician Eddie Halpern.