Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hitna’ari Revisited

About a month ago, in honor of Yom Yerushalayim, I posted Udi Davidi’s haunting “Hitna’ari.” (The song is reposted below.)

A number of readers wondered how this song is connected to Yom Yerushalayim, and so I turned to the Official Our Shiputzim Hebrew-English Translator* for help.

At first, she was extremely reluctant to tackle this song, because she insists that translating poetry isn’t really her thing.

Nevertheless, she finally agreed to try, but only on one condition – namely, that you, dear readers, use the comment section to point out any and all corrections, suggestions, recommendations, omissions, or additions.

And so, without further ado, here’s her translation:


(The beautiful Hebrew lyrics are available here, and the song itself appears below.)

Your face is weary with sweat and tears.
Your garments are covered with the dust of the road.
And you trudge mutely, collecting the shards,
The fragments of your life, scattered among the sands.

Shake yourself from the dust; rise up!
Don your garments of glory, My people.
By the hand of Yishai’s son, the Bethlemite,
Draw near to My soul; redeem it.

Your eyes attest to a sleepless night.
Your heart cries, “Mother Earth!”
And you trudge mutely among the dunes,
Uncertain that the wandering will ever end.

Shake yourself…

Wake up, for your light has come; rise up and shine,
For your wandering was not for naught,
For the eternal nation once again returns to the sands,
To the shards it left behind in its pain.
Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears,
For there is reward for your deed.
The sons return and break the silence,
Which permeated your being and your heart.

Shake yourself… (x2)


And here’s the song, so you can listen while you read the translation:

Nu, so what did you think? The translator* asked that I remind you that your comments are most appreciated.


*Special thanks to the Official Our Shiputzim Hebrew-English translator for providing the above translation. Please note that she’s available for translation work. For more information, contact me at OurShiputzim at gmail dot com, and I’ll gladly forward all serious inquiries to her.


  1. Beautiful translation. My only question is about the translation for "Ima adama" I always thoughht that was the Hebrew expression for "Mother Earth"

  2. Beautiful song, thank you for posting it!

  3. Malke - Thanks and good point! I'll ask the translator if she wants to change it...

    Rachel B. - My pleasure!

  4. Beautiful moving translation.
    But agree about translation of "Ima Adama"

  5. Thanks, everyone, for your sweet comments!
    Malke and Keren: Thank you for pointing that out. I changed the translation accordingly.


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