The entire country mourned the passing of iconic songwriter Haim Hefer on this new year’s second day. We were awash in a deluge of nostalgia, which was only fitting, bearing in mind that Hefer was a master of nostalgia. His ability to home in and seize on the singular sentiment of the era proved the hallmark of his prolific output.
And so in 1948, as the Palmach achieved its greatest feats but was already threatened with dismantlement by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Hefer wrote a somewhat premature self-lamenting eulogy for the Hagana’s elite strike force. I translated its opening stanza:
Gentlemen, history cyclically reappears.
Nothing is forgotten, nothing disappears.
We’ll yet remember how under a lead barrage,
The Palmach in Syria did march Continue reading