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Haim Hefer (1925-2012)

Haim Hefer and Rachel Haramati

 Haim Hefer (29 October 1925 – 18 September 2012) was an Israeli songwriter, poet and writer. A founder of the Palmach's Chizbatron and its chief songwriter, Haim Hefer's lyrics helped forge a national identity in contemporary Hebrew and embodied the spirit of the generation that fought for their nation’s independence.

Song 3: Yatzanu At - written by Haim Hefer Song 10: Ruti - writen by Haim Hefer

Haim Feiner (late Hefer) was bon in Sosnowiec, Poland in 1925 to Issachar Feiner, a chocolate salesman, and Rivka Herzberg, a housewife. He had a private Hebrew tutor. His family immigrated to Palestine in 1936 and settled in Raanana. He began writing at the age of 13, as part of a national contest. He never finished high school and joined the Palmach in 1943.  He took part in smuggling illegal immigrants through Syria and Lebanon. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, he was one of the founders of the Chizbatron, the Palmach army troupe, and was its chief songwriter.

Haim Hefer (bottom center) with the Chizbatron, September 1949

He wrote for dozens of composers, including Sasha Argov, Moshe Wilensky and Dubi Seltzer. Artists who performed his songs include Arik Lavie, Yehoram Gaon, Shoshana Damari and Yafa Yarkoni, as well as The High Windows and most Israeli military bands. He wote lyrics for musicals, including "Kazablan" and "I Like Mike". Many of his songs, such as "Hafinjan" (The Billy Kettle), "Hayu Zmanim" (In Those Days) and "Hamilkhama Ha'achrona" (The Last War) ae considered Israeli classics. He also published several collections of his verses. Shortly before the 1948 war, he wrote a song titled "Between the Borders", about immigration. It included the words "We are here, a defensive shield". In 2002, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched an operation in the West Bank and named it Operation Defensive Shield.

On 18 September 2012 (the second day of Rosh Hashanah, 5773), Hefer died at Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, after a long illness, at the age of 86.

Some well loved songs written by Haim Hefer include:

  • Al Hakefaq
  • Brith Milah Pageant
  • Dudu
  • Hafinjan
  • Hamilkhamah Ha'akhrona
  • Lamidbar
  • Nasser waits for Rabin
  • Rosa, Rosa
  • Shav Ghibor Hakhail
  • We Are All Jews 


Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Hefer

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