Abstract

The song "Jerusalem of Gold", one of contemporary Israel's inalienable culture's assets, represents a unique cultural phenomenon: Four decades have passed since it was written by Naomi Shemer—a leading producer of modern Israel's popular music—yet its status remains that of a national symbol or unofficial national anthem. This status is reflected in the fact that, among other things, it is frequently heard during public ceremonies relating to Israel locally and internationally. Even though "Jerusalem of Gold" represents an exceptional phenomenon in Israel's cultural space, it has generated marginal academic interest. In an attempt to understand the special status of the song, this article has explored events during the first significant phase in its social construction period, just before and immediately after the Six Day War. This study exposed the way in which the song's initial spontaneous success benefited from two growing forces: The song fitted wonderfully into the "IDF's heroism festival" and at the same time it suited the "spiritual-religious festival", both products of Israel's stirring victory in the Six Day War. This article sheds light on a song as a fascinating juncture of politics, national symbols, and popular culture. Following Regev and Seroussi who argue that popular music is the cultural form that most strongly signifies Israeliness [Israelliut], the article uses the multidimensional cultural construction of the song "Jerusalem of Gold" as a microcosm of Israeli society for the purpose of studying post-1967 "Israeliness".

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-201x
Print ISSN
1084-9513
Pages
pp. 104-120
Launched on MUSE
2007-05-28
Open Access
No
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