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They say there is a land

Lyrics: Shaul Tchernichovsky

They say: There is a land,
a land drenched with sun.
Wherefore is that land?
Where is that sun?

They say: There is a land,
its pillars are seven,
seven planets,
springing up on every hill.

A land where it shall come to pass
what every man had hoped for,
Everyone who enters,
has met with Akiva.

Peace to you, Akiva!
Peace to you, Rabbi!
Where are the saints?
Where is the Maccabee?

Answers him Akiva,
answers him the Rabbi:
All of Israel are saints
you are the Maccabee!

All of Israel are saints
You are the Maccabee!
You are the Maccabee!

This is the later version - the more optimistic version - which Tchernichovsky wrote to sing, in honour of the Global Committee of the “Hehalutz” movement in Berlin. Everyone who comes into Israel meets Rabbi Akiva (the spiritual leader of the Bar Kochba Rebellion  specifically), who says to him “you are the Maccabee”. The earlier version of the song is less sure and contains doubts about Israel. Naomi Shemer, in the well known version, integrated between both versions.

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