- ja kuviakin http://travel.walla.co.il/item/3027011PB103Open AccessDominik PetersAbstractThe Palmach was the backbone of the pre-state Yishuv militias fighting for the independence of Israel. However, its impact went beyond the battlefield and still resonates in the cultural arena of modern day Israel. The exclusive elite group was a beacon of cultural as well as pedagogical values influencing the state, such as theYediat ha-Aretz principle and the thereby interwoven Wanderlust. Therefore, I will try to show how Haim Hefer, the prominent Palmach poet and songwriter, prolonged this hiking tradition through the years of early statehood and implemented it in his famous song ha-Sela ha-Adom (“The Red Rock”) about the clandestine treks to the mythical Nabatean city of Petra in Jordan by Meir Har-Zion and many others. I will argue that the pop-cultural heritage of this particular song—although deeply rooted in the cultural matrix of the Yishuv—is a theme and topic of controversy to this day
- ...2015; 13(2): 103–115, DOI: 10.1515/tra-2015-0011110- 111back to Israel; Levi paid for his Wanderlust with his death. He was shot. The influence of the Palmach admirer Har-Zion on them had been tremendous, as Berman recalled years later: “In our thoughts Meir Har-Zion was like a demigod.”However, this march wasn’t the end of the “Petramania.” In March 1957, Menahem Ben David and Ram Pragai, both graduates of the Kedouri agricultural school, a pedagogical beacon of Labor-Zionism, the paratrooper Kalman Shelef Shlafsky, and Dan Gilad, who had served in the 101 Unit for a short time, set out for Petra. For these youngsters, none of them older than 23, crossing the border space was a dream larger than life. Ram said to afriend who wanted to convince him not to hike to Petra: “For us the way to heaven goes over Petra and not overTel Aviv.” All of them were shot dead. In November of the same year, two more failed in their attempts to fulfill their dream: 24-year-old Amiram Shai from Moshav Kfar Haim and 21-year-old Mordechai Tovi from Ramle snuckinto Jordan with the intention of reaching Petra, but they were killed.Concerning the group of five in 1953, Anita Shapira argues: “They still had not comprehended the real meaning of a border and the dangers inherent in a stealthy crossing” and “did not believe they were endangering their lives by embarking upon this venture.” On the other hand she claims that those “who attempted the trek in 1956 and 1957 were well aware of the perils it entailed and saw this as a dimension of Petra’s challenge.” I believe the portrayal of naïveté regarding the 1953 group is inaccurate since the whole generation was aware of the real meaning of the state borders, and I suggest therefore not to distinguish between the motivation and aspiration of the two different groups (1953 and 1956/1957). There was no fundamental change in the understanding of the meaning of a border in these three years.The Forbidden Song About the Forbidden CityOn April 15, 1958, six months after the deadly trek to Petra by Amiram Shai and Mordechai Tovi, Haim Hefer wrote the lyrics and Yochanan Sarai the melody for a ballad called ha-Sela ha-Adom(“The Red Rock”) published by Hed-Artzi. The pop song was sung by Arik Lavie, who was born as Leo Alexander Inselsbacher 1927 in Leipzig,Germany, who joined the Carmel military entertainment troupe in 1949, attended the Cameri Theater and had in addition to the Red Rock song other hits like the pre-1967 war song “Nasser is waiting for Rabin.” The Red Rocksongs theme was a hike to Petra:Across the mountains and the desert /the legends say, there’s a place /that a living person has not yet returnedfrom, / it’s called the red rock. /Ho, the red – red – rock.Three went on the way with the sunset, /facing the mountains red scorching, /an old dream, a map and a waterbottle /they did take to the red rock. /Ho, the red – red – rock.The first went as scout, lifting his face, /looking at the stars up high, but the view that his eyes saw – /was the sight of the red rock / Ho, the red – red – rock.In the Wadi, they camped between stones some time, /one said, like being dreamhit: /My eyes see – her face iswhite. /His buddys answered: the red rock. /Ho, the red – red – rock.The rotating sun beat on their heads /they breathe in desert dust and heat, /and, all of a sudden, as if their bloodran cold /they saw the red rock.Ho, the red – red – rock.